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Term Definition

Pronounced: Shat-o-nerf derr papp

A region in the south of the Rhone Valley, France. This region allows 13 grape varieties to be blended. Grenache is the major grape used (to provide structure), usually blended with considerable amounts of Mourvedre and/or Syrah. The other grape varieties permitted are Cinsault, Counoise, Vaccarese, Picpoul Noir, Terret Noir, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Picardan.

It is rare that a wine contains all 13 grape varieties, although Chateau de Beaucastel and Clos des Papes do.

Chenin Blanc

Pronounced: Shen-in Blon

This white grape is grown in many regions (e.g. South Africa, California, France). It is probably at its best in the Loire (France) where it sometimes makes exceptionally good wines with honey characteristics, that can benefit from ageing. Chenin Blanc can be made into many styles from dry through to sweet. One of Chenin Blanc's finest incarnations is as Vouvray (Loire, France) which is made from Boyrytised grapes - sweet and long-living.


Pronounced: Key-ant-ee

A region in Tuscany, Italy, comprising 8 different sub-areas. Chianti Classico DOCG is the original centre of the region, surrounded by 7 satellite DOCG regions. The Sangiovese grape is dominant in any blend, sometimes being 100% of the wine. Chianti is characterised by a lively acidity, with flavours of sour cherry and a slightly earthy element (with age).

Chianti comes in 2 versions: basic Chianti is made for early drinking; 'Riserva' is made for ageing and usually needs further ageing after the compulsory 2 years that the wine has before it can be sold to the public.


A German term which refers to wines which are harmoniously dry. These wines must use a single grape type, from a single vineyard and be from a single year/vintage.


Used on many labels in Italy, this refers to the historical centre of a region. For example, Chianti Classico.

This enables areas that were the original region to differentiate themselves from any subsequent sub-regions (for example, Chianti Ruffina).


See Pinot Blanc


An indication of typical weather in a typical year.

See also 'weather' which is what happens in a specific year/vintage.

Cork Taint

A common name for 2,4,6 Trichloranisole which spoils wines. This should not be confused with oxidation.

Cork taint occurs in an estimated 5% of wines! It shows itself as a mustiness or smell of damp rags. It is most noticeable in taste rather than by smelling the wine.

Corked wine

See 'Cork taint'


A red grape that is most famous for making Valpolicella, Amarone, Bardolino. It has flavours like spices and dark fruit.

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