There are over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes in the world and some are better than others for making wine. Although it is not easy to establish a completely objective classification of the best grape varieties, a few stand out! Winemakers favor them because of their superior quality to that of other grape varieties.
Pinot Noir is certainly the king of grape varieties. Above all, it makes it possible to make good red wine such as the Domaine Faiveley Musigny Grand Cru 2017, the Domaine François Lemarche La Grande Rue Grand Cru Monopole and the Domaine Jerome Chezeaux Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru “Les Chaumes” 2017. Those are all luxury red wines that you can order from millesima-usa.com. In any case, Pinot Noir is the most used grape variety in the world to produce high-end wines and champagnes. It is an ancient grape variety that comes from Burgundy, France.
Merlot is an internationally known grape variety that makes good silky, velvety and harmonious wines. It is very often present in the famous wines of Bordeaux, especially in the wines of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. Many chateaux in Languedoc Roussillon in France also use Merlot to concoct high quality red wine. This variety is also popular in the vineyards of California, New Zealand, Chile and other countries. Petrus is one of the best and the most expensive wines made with the Merlot grape variety. There is also Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste 2019.
Cabernet Sauvignon is another famous grape variety which is very well known all over the world. It is almost ubiquitous in Bordeaux blends. It results from a fortuitous cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It stands out thanks to its small berries and its thick skin which give the wines racy tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for producing long-keeping wines. This red grape variety represents the Bordeaux region all around the world. It has even become a symbol of quality in terms of oenology. Click here to learn how to define a great wine.
Originally from the Aragon region of Spain, Grenache is a black grape variety that resists heat very well. It is used to produce good red wines. It gives the drink aromas of strawberry, red fruit jam, spices, garrigue and liquorice. Grenache wines are thus very easy to recognize thanks to their typical taste and their very good length in the palate. Horsepower Vineyards Fiddleneck Vineyard is one of the best Grenache wines.
Sangiovese is certainly the most known Italian grape variety. Many fine red wines from Tuscany are made from it. It is even the core ingredient of some of the greatest and much-loved Italian red wines. The legend goes that it was found out during the pre-Roman Etruscan period in Italy. This grape is thin-skinned and is known to be hard to grow. That is why it is just a little present in California, in New Zealand, in the French Island of Corsica, Argentina, Australia and in other countries.
This kind of grape is a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. It can be recognized by its very thin skin. Cabernet Franc is also lower in acid compared with its descendant. It allows winemakers to create medium-bodied vegetable wines with pronounced notes of red fruit, chili and crushed gravel. This grape originally grows in the Bordeaux region, but it is now available in many countries such as Italy, Brazil, Canada and the United States of America.
One of the best Burgundy grapes, Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc is known for its delicate floral aromas and very subtle earthy notes. This type of grape also has the advantage of being able to pair with all food, even fish! The most interesting thing is you can buy high quality Gamay at a better price than Pinot Noir. Notice that most French wines produced with Gamay are labeled as Beaujolais which is its homeland in Burgundy. Those are light to medium-bodied wines in general.
Also named Shiraz, this grape comes from Rhône, a French region. But it also grows generously in Australia, particularly in Barossa Valley. You may think that Syrah is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot thanks to its full body, medium acidity as well as high tannins. But it is a special and unique grape.