Grape development is a generational thing, not only the way fine wines are passed down through families but also in the creation of a new grape, something that takes around 20 years for researchers to create and grow [source: McCandless]. So far, you've learned the influence climate has on wine -- specifically, how the Languedoc Roussillon's Mediterranean heat makes a strong grape. In this section, see how different varieties of grapes lead to different flavors and wines within the region.
The red wines of Languedoc include:
- Cabernet -- A strong, dense wine. If you like fruity wines, look for a Mas de Daumas Gassac Red, from the 1998 Vin de Pays d'Oc for a clear flavor of currants.
- Merlot -- A smooth, full-bodied wine. The Domaine de Aspes 2003 has notes of berries and earthy flavors -- even a touch of tar.
- Syrah/Shiraz -- Also smooth and rich, Syrah will give you a bit of a bite with its spiciness. A 2006 Domaine Saint Hubert Pic Saint Loup has earned critical attention. Look for herbs and licorice in its body.
- Pinot Noir -- This classy variety will most likely remind you of several different fruits and flavors. A good pick is the M&S Grenache Noir Vine de Pays des Cotes Catalanes [sources: Gassac, Reiss, Robinson, Walsh].
The white wines of Languedoc include:
- Sauvignon Blanc -- A high, crisp taste (imagine pastoral fields), this wine will carry its own distinct flavor by vintner. The Les Tours Sauvignon Blanc 2007 is popular.
- Chardonnay -- Light and crisp, other areas of France are revered for their varietals of this kind. Try the Les Coteaux de Neffies 2007 Vin de Pays d'Oc for a taste of lemon and ginger.
- Riesling -- This highly fruity wine can be served as a dessert wine.
- Pinot Grigio/ Pinot Gris -- This sipping wine evokes smoky flavors [sources: My Wines Direct, Stolarski, Wine.com].
For more wine-related information, visit the links on the next page.