It’s an exciting time for the world of wine. While there have been many interesting recent developments, one of the most notable is the rise of lighter-coloured reds.
‘In the space of just a few years, wine lovers are beginning to realize that there is no correlation between depth of colour and wine quality,’ writes respected wine journalist Jamie Goode. ‘Pale reds don’t necessarily lack flavour; they seldom lack aroma. Just as there’s been a shift away from high alcohol, a corresponding shift is beginning with red wine colour.’
Two of the grapes that are benefiting from renewed interest in lighter red wines are Gamay and Cinsault. ‘Suddenly, Beaujolais is being taken seriously…gamay is a grape of the future,’ asserts Goode. We agree. With a new generation of growers focusing on terroir and producing serious, long-ageing wines – and at affordable prices – Beaujolais could be the new Burgundy. Try Domaine de Foillard’s Morgon Classique 2012.
Back home, Cinsault was the backbone of the wine industry for many decades. A South African Cinsault revival has finally pushed the grape back into the spotlight, and for good reason. ‘Ambitious young winemakers are seeing it as a valuable blending component, but also as a fabulous variety in its own right, able to make supremely drinkable red wines that are low in colour and alcohol,’ explains Goode.