From the eclectic lush greens and cool climates of Southern Australia to the warmer states of Western and Northern Australia, red wines are produced almost everywhere in this smallest continent of the world. Here are some basics that will help you to identify the red wine types of Australia.
The Grape Variety
The dominant grape variety listed on the label is what designates the type to a wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache, and Tempranillo are some famous varieties used for making wine types red.
Cool Climate and Warm Climate Wines
The regions experiencing cool climate produce varieties that have different flavours when compared to those from warmer regions. Influenced by higher elevations, water bodies and sunlight, the cool climate wines are low on tannins and alcohol. Gamay and Pinot Noir are the two popular cool-climate red wine types. On the other side, the warm climate wines have deeper red colour, higher alcohol contents, and are more tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvedre are warm-climate red wine types.
Single Varietals and Blended Wines
Single varietals are the wines made from 100% fruit of a single variety. Blended wines are crafted from two or more than two grape varieties. Most of the New World wines are named after the variety or varieties used to craft a wine, while the Old World utilises the region in the name of the wine. Australian wines use both region and the variety to provide clarity about the wine specifications. For example, the wine crafted from Shiraz and Merlot from Barossa Valley will have Shiraz Merlot Barossa Valley featured on its label.
The Impact of Terroir
The structure of the soil and the climatic conditions define the terroir of a region. The impact of a terroir can be easily noticed in the wines produced in that particular region. The adaptability of grape vines to the climate of the region along with the viticultural practices followed by the wine producer determines the aromas, flavours and tannins of the wine. A red wine type which produces light-bodied wine in one part of a country can produce medium bodied wine in another region of the same country or vice versa. Both red wine types will have different tastes as well. This all happens because of the varied terroirs.