First some education.
The classification of wines today is usually split using 2 methods. *these are simplified blurbs*
1) Traditionally in the old world (Europe) wines were described by use of region. Now-a-days many of the European countries have split to include the other method but the traditional classification still reign supreme in the uber-famous wi
nes. Think of Bordeaux, Beajoulais, Cotes-du-Rhone (all French). Here, terroir reigns supreme. The French believe that the most important component of wine-making is the land (incl. climate, soil, elevation and the works). This is why region is oh-so-important. Many of these wines are blends of different varietals.
2) The other classification is the varietal method. Most people would be more familiar with this method because they have actually heard of the words Merlot, Cabernet and things like that. The most common style of wine-making is the attempt to make a particular varietal shine (although there are still blends under this classification).
Since the wine I just cracked open falls under category 1, I will now elaborate using my wine as an example.
Domaine les Ondines 2004
Vac is an appellation of the Cotes-du-Rhone region in the southern France.
Soil: alluvial deposits and glacial terraces
Climate: hot and dry, lots of sunshine
Varietals (red): grenache, syrah (shiraz), mourvedre, and possibly minor amounts of others
Key features: Reds are usually fermented to a finished alcohol content of 12.5%
My tasting notes:
– low acidity
– sublte tannins
– copious plum action
– subtle menthol on the finish