Blends and single varietals: the origin of this distinction
This is when grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc see their fame grow on labels all over the world. Since then, many consumers have begun to identify with the style of a particular grape variety and to value the presentation of this information by producers. It is in this context that the distinction between blended wines and single varietal wines began to gain weight in the market.
Single varietal wines: what are they?
As the name suggests, monovarietal wines are wines made exclusively from a single grape variety and which seek to emphasise the personality and unique characteristics of the grape variety in question.
However, it's common to see wines on the market that don't have 100 per cent grapes from the same variety, but have a predominant variety, which is mentioned on the label. These are called varietal wines.
To be considered varietal, a wine must have a minimum percentage of grapes in its composition in order to be able to display the name of a single grape variety on the label. This mandatory percentage is defined by the legislation of each country and region.
By way of example, the regulations for the Douro region state that a wine can be classified as varietal if it contains at least 85 per cent of the predominant grape variety mentioned on the label.
In general, varietal wines are allowed to contain a small percentage of other grapes, in order to give the winemaker some freedom to "complete" the wine with other varieties if necessary. This residual complement of grape varieties is often used to give the wine more acidity or to give it more structure and body.
Blend wines: what are they?
Blends and varietals: discover the main differences
Apart from the number of grape varieties used in their composition, there are other elements that help distinguish these two types of wine:
Aromatic and flavour characteristics
> Varietals: tend to bring out the distinctive characteristics of the predominant grape. This allows consumers to easily identify the aromatic profile and flavour associated with a specific grape variety.
> Blends: generally offer a wider range of aromas and flavours, the result of combining the characteristics of the different grape varieties used. They often result in more complex and balanced wines.
Consistency and Terroir
Opportunities for producers
Origin and tradition
Blends or varietals: what's the best approach?
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