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Soft Fruity Reds

If You Like Pinot Noir, You'll Like . . .

Lower in alcohol, and made with varietals that have more delicacy and softness than roguish fruit or crushing tannin, most of these wines drink well young and even slightly chilled. That's not to say that there aren't some challenging wines in this category. A good Pinot Noir from Oregon or Sonoma can be intense in character, but it would always be a stretch to call it anything but light.

Other Pinot Noir - As mentioned, Pinot Noir can come from a wide array of growing areas. Kits without a declared AVA will generally verge on the light and simple, but French styles will be more angular and tannic, Chilean will display much more intense cherry/raspberry fruit, Oregon will split the difference between those two and California AVA kits will often have fruit character nearly as intense as Merlot.

Bergamais - A proprietary name for wine kits made with the Gamay grape, this wine is strong of juicy, ripe fruit character, bright cherry notes

Grenache - A sleeper grape, it has straightforward dark cherry notes, but the best examples have a hint of anise/black licorice in the finish, making them juicy and drinkable.

Sangiovese - Like many Italian varietals, it shows structure and tannin more strongly than fruit, with plum, red cherry and blackberry notes and a very firm finish.

Valpola/Valpolicella - Shows a pretty, ruby-red color, with aromas of tart cherry, berry, and spice.

Vieux Château du Roi/Castel del Papa - A proprietary name for wine kits made in the style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is another tricky one: in the lower price points it's cheerful and well balanced between Grenache and Syrah grapes, with low to moderate oak. In the larger format, more expensive kits it can become a very bold, assertive wine. However, it's usually so well balanced and easy drinking, it comes of less as a blockbuster and more of a block-charmer.


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