Before tasting the wine, you may wish to have an idea of what to expect. For instance, if you are a lover of Australian Shiraz, a look on the label or profile from our website will help to show any similarities or differences to expect. If you wish to blind taste of course, this information can be looked at after your tasting conclusion.
Is it old or new world? Old world often denotes traditional styles of a wine grape such as an Italian Pinot Grigio or a French Pinot Noir. New World countries can produce traditional styles, but also often introduce modern wine profiles from European varieties, such as an Argentinian Malbec or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Cool climate regions will produce differing grape profiles than warm climates. Grapes will often reflect the flavours of their surrounds. Cool climate red wines can show more fresh fruit and herbal characters, whilst white wines can show more minerality and citrus. Warm climate reds can bring riper, jammier fruit and warming spice, whilst whites may show more tropical fruit and less acid.
Of course it can become more complicated when the wine area is introduced. However, our website helps to break it down for you with wide ranging blog guides for learning about wine. This is handy if, let’s say, you love a Rioja but wish to compare its 3 sub-regions, or you like a Chablis but are trying a Petit or Premier Cru for the first time, or you have a Bordeaux - a wine that can dramatically change dependent on appellation and river side.
Different countries/climates/regions can offer a variety of expressions of a single grape type, but all grapes have a core character and it is handy to note your expectations of say, a Pinot Grigio or a Pinot Noir. If sampling a blend, you can check the blend percentages that will be key to the wine profile. Tip: if a wine lists 2 grape varieties, for example a Cabernet-Malbec, it is usually a 50-50 to 60-40 percent make up. If you are trying a new grape for the first time, you can make it a surprise or check the profile on the Turton Wines website where we love unusual grapes such as Saperavi and Rkatsiteli.
FARMING AND TERROIR
Vineyard farming is of the utmost importance. The location will dictate soil/terroir types which we profile as much as possible. In addition, lower yields bring greater flavour and quality which is why we try to avoid high yield, mass produced wines. Other factors include sustainability and organic farming, altitude and drainage, hand harvesting and sorting, harvest time - night/early morning is often good for freshness - and even distance to the winery from the vineyard.
This aspect reflects the profile the wine producer desired. Do you want a fresh, mineral white wine? Then youthful with stainless steel treatment is a safe bet. Do you want a full, smooth red with layered complexity? Look at wines with long oak treatment and bottle ageing before release. There are a multitude of ways that vinification can vary during each stage of the process, so always check the wine profile. Good producers will usually provide this complex information to wine merchants, especially if they have crafted their wines with care.
Of course, what is often on the label itself is description from the producer of how the wine should taste. Again, you may wish to be surprised, but if you want to compare your palate with the winemaker’s, this is a good start!