Red grapes, a matter of tannins

by Marta Burgués

We keep talking about grapes! On this occasion we mention the most famous and suggestive red grapes…

Cabernet Franc

Renowned for its elegance and floral aroma, Cabernet Franc grape is related with Cabernet Sauvignon and widely grown in Bordeaux. In Uruguay is used to add delicacy to cuts based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat. When elaborated alone, this grape produces a light and soft wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon

This variety is the most widespread in the world and when it reaches its optimal maturation is associated with cassis, while with lack of maturation reveals vegetable notes similar to sweet peppers, and canned or cooked food like black olives. In the typicality of Cabernet Sauvignon the experts find hints of spices such as black or red pepper, and identify its color with the absence of shine, while its colors go from violet shades in youth to red brick over the years.


Raspberry and prunes are the descriptors for the testers used to refer to this fruit. When mature it gives notes of dark chocolate, while the violets are the flowers chosen to name its perfume. This grape is an essential part in the great French mixes and it is fundamental to renowned wines such as Petrus. In young bottles predominate fresh aromas of red fruits, so is included in rosé wines.

Pinot Noir

Said to be the summit of any producer and preferred by any taster. With no resistance to frost, rain and heat, this variety is of complicated maturation. Low color intensity by the low amount of anthocyanins and difficult preservation, result of the low presence of tannins, Pinot Noir provides anyway fruity young wines and robust vintage wines. Its flavors are associated with blackberries and cherries, while its aromas are generally of cut grass, black tea and leather.

Syrah or Shiraz

Fresh raspberries and blackberries, prunes and quince, black pepper, leather and even tar are the descriptors that identify this variety, typical of France, which today finds its highest expression in Australia.


Recognized in Rio de la Plata as a flagship grape, this variety has green leaves of medium size and its fruit is dark purple, almost black. In young wines is associated with raspberries, quince and figs, which results in an intense aroma of leather, with a marked astringency produced by its high percentage of tannins.


The tempranillo grape, also called ?tinta del pais? or ?Tinta Roriz?, is the key in most Spanish wines. It is unusual to find this variety in mono-varietal wines out of Spain because although it produces a colored wine, its acidity is very low and is low in tannins.


Called Cot in France, this black fruit grape is recognized by its dense coloration, almost black. Adopted in Argentina as a flagship red variety, it can become a young wine, an extended aging wine or a rosé, and always reflects aromas similar to cherry or cassis and violet perfume. In the elaboration of red wines it provides also notes of spicy anise or licorice.

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