Bordeaux’s Key Grape Variety Aromas



Cabernet Sauvignon

Blackcurrant, blackberry, violets, spices, cedar, eucaplyptus, green pepper  –  unripeness (green pepper, IBMP), mint, chocolate

With Age: Leather, nutty, toast, toffee

Characteristics: high tannins due to thick skins, good ageing potential, ‘skeleton’


Cabernet Franc

Raspberry, violets, pencil shavings, leafy, earthy, spicy, tobacco

With age: musk, nutmeg, sandalwood, savoury

Characteristics: pale in colour, low in tannin, fruity fowardness, aromatic spicy qualities to the bouquet, high in acidity, light in body, fine texture


Cherry, plums, violet, liquorice, blackberry, grilled meat, mint, prune – over-ripe

With age: Truffle, leather, floral, undergrowth, bacon

Characteristics: ‘fleshy’, aromatic fruit and juiciness, higher in alcohol and lower in acidity and tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon (can drink sooner)



Lemon, lime, Gooseberry, green pepper , asparagus, tomato leaves, box, broom, blackcurrant bud -cat’s pee (thiol), grapefruit, peach,  green apple, herbaceous, freshly cut grass, fresh peas, pineapple

Smokey (gun flint), mineral, box (buis), broom (genet)

Characteristics: high in acidity, aromatic

Semillon: apricot, orange, citrus fruits, smokey, white peach , nectarine, lychee

Characteristics: fullness in mouth, waxy texture, low acidity, high alcohol


Sweet Wine (Semillon and Sauvignon)

High residual sugar

Acacia flower , orange blossom, honey, marmalade, quince, white tobacco

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