Signature Styles & Characteristics
Although any grape can be interpreted in innovative and at times, outlying styles, the below chart/graphic represents the preponderance of what you will find in California:
Still: 30 percent on a scale from Dry to Sweet of Dryness/Residual Sugar. Sparkling: 30 percent on the same scale.
Still: 55 percent on a scale from Low to High of Acid (potential). Sparkling: 85 percent on the same scale.
Still: 85 percent on a scale from Low to High of Alcohol (potential). Sparkling: 50 percent on the same scale.
Body (weight on palate)
Still: 100 percent on a scale from Low to High of Body (weight on palate). Sparkling: 50 percent on the same scale.
Still: 100 percent on a scale from Lean to Smooth of Texture.
Still: 100 percent on a scale from Light to Full of Tannin. Sparkling: 100 percent on the same scale.
*Not applicable, however resulting wines can be slightly phenolic due to skin contact and/or new oak.
Influenced by climate, terroir, clonal selection and winemaking.
FruitLemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, mandarin orange, peach, nectarine, pear, apple, pineapple, fig, guava, melon, banana, marmalade, mango, passion fruit, kiwi, quince, cucumber
FloralMint, lemongrass, verbena, lemon thyme, aromatic white flowers, lemon, lime, or citrus blossoms, blond tobacco
EarthMinerals, stones, gunflint, steel, mushrooms, chalk, forest floor (humus)
Wood (oak)Smoke, cream, vanilla, custard, caramel, bread crust, burnt sugar, molasses, maple syrup, honey, toast, coconut, hazelnut, almond, walnut, cashew, nutmeg, ginger
OtherPopcorn, butter, butterscotch, yeast, plain yogurt, cornmeal, oatmeal, flan, lemon curd
3 to 15 years on average, pedigree-dependent; the best high altitude and cool climate bottles can live even longer