Vin de France & Grape Varieties

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Wine words

A concise dictionary of wine-related terms for enthusiasts and lovers of all things enological
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
SAIGNÉE :
Rosé de saignée. A rosé produced from red grapes that undergo a short maceration so that the wine acquires some of the pigments, but no tannins. These rosés are more powerful than the rosés de pressurage, which are rosés produced from red grapes using the production method for white wines.
SAVAGNIN :
A Jura grape variety used to make Vin Jaune. There are two rosé varieties (klevner and gewurztraminer) in Alsace.
SCIACARELLO :
A black grape variety, grown in Corsica, used to make rich, fruity wines.
SÉVÈRE :
Said of a wine that is hard and lacks a bouquet.
SHORT :
Said of a wine that does not leave a lasting sensation on the palate after tasting, often called a wine with a short finish. (1 to 2 Caudalies. See CAUDALIE)
SILKY :
Said of a supple, soft, smooth wine with delicate, velvety tannins.
SMOKY :
Describes an odor similar to that of smoked foods, characteristic of the Sauvignon grape variety, among others.
SMOOTHNESS :
The pleasant sensation of softness and richness offered by a wine, which is unrelated to its sugar content. However, a wine’s smoothness can make it seem softer and sweeter.
SOLID :
Said of a wine that is well constructed with good structure.
SPICY :
Said of a wine with aromas of spices such as pepper, cinnamon and cardamom.
SPRITZY :
Said of a wine that contains a very small amount of carbon dioxide, much less than a sparkling wine.
STRAIGHTFORWARD :
Said of a wine or one of its elements (color, bouquet, aromas) that lack both defects and ambiguity.
STRONG :
A wine with a solid body.
STRUCTURE :
Refers to the structure and the overall constitution of a wine.
STURDY :
Based on an analogy with the framework of a house, a sturdy wine is big and bold, resulting from a nice balance between alcohol and tannins. It is also a strong wine, with body that is solid and structured. These well-built wines have powerful tannins enabling them to age nicely.
SUPPLE :
Said of a highly approachable wine in which the smoothness overcomes the astringency.
SWEET WINES :
White wines that are naturally high in sugar, produced from overripe grapes whose sugars were highly concentrated by water evaporation. This concentration occurs through a natural mechanism like noble rot, a fungus that is welcomed in Sauternes, or through human intervention. This can include passerillage, which consists of drying the grapes in a humidity-free, well-ventilated environment, or ice wines in which the ice is separated from the overripe grapes during pressing (cold climates).
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