9 Styles of wine you should know by the time you're 30

9 Styles of wine you should know by the time you're 30

1. What is a sparkling wine?


Sparkling wine is the fastest-growing sector of the world wine market - the world literally cannot get enough of it. It's usually associated with prestige and special occasions thanks to the image of Champagne, but modern sparkling wines are becoming more and more accessible. Sparkling wine is challenging to produce because it demands high-quality fruit, is time-consuming and labour intensive to boot. Usually, a base wine is made from early-harvested fruit and then the fizz is added by inducing a secondary fermentation process in a closed vessel. This vessel can be a pressurised tank or, in the case of Champagne, the very bottle you will drink from.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


Our Sparkling Rosé is made from fruit which is kept on skins for a short time, bottle-fermented and aged for a short while on lees (expired yeast). It is a cremant-style, meaning it's not an aggressively sparkling style. It offers delicate flavours of fresh strawberry and is refreshingly crisp; beautiful summer drinking!

Montalto Cuvee One is made in the traditional method of Champagne, from 50/50 chardonnay and pinot noir. The base wine is re-fermented in the bottle and aged on lees for a minimum of three years for richness and complexity. Drinking-wise you'll find citrus and green apple fruits, with subtle hints of strawberry from the pinot noir. An exceptionally elegant and classy new world sparkling perfect for any special occasion.

 

2. What is a light-bodied white?


Light-bodied whites are some of the most popular and easy-drinking styles of wine on the shelf. The freshness and crispness of lighter whites make them perfect with a wide variety of foods or as a refreshing drink on its own. Wines in this style can range from fruity to savoury and are usually dry.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


It's always hard to go past our best-selling white, the Pennon Hill Pinot Grigio. Made from early-picked fruit, it's fermented at cool temperatures to preserve the fresh, delicate flavours and aromas of the grapes. This wine is tank-fermented and bottled early, resulting in a wine with granny smith apple and nashi pear and a crisp, clean finish.

If you like a lighter white with a bit more intensity about it, you might also like our Pennon Hill Sauvignon Blanc. We pick fruit from a couple of blocks and slightly different ripeness levels to achieve a more complex range of tropical fruits and savoury grassy qualities. A great example of a lighter white wine that's BIG on flavour.

 

3. What is a full-bodied white?


White wines with fuller body and rich flavour are usually excellent companions to food. The extra body and texture of these wines is achieved by harvesting the grapes at higher ripeness or, more often, by ageing in a barrel. The process of barrel ageing softens the wine’s natural acidity producing rounder textural qualities. White wines in this style are often enjoyed by red drinkers for their fuller qualities.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


If full-bodied whites are your jam, look no further than the excellent range of chardonnays we produce. Mornington Peninsula is one of the best regions in Australia for growing chardonnay and ours are some of the most awarded wines in the region.

We have four chardonnay's to choose from: the entry-level Pennon Hill balances zesty citrus, white peach and pared-back use of oak. The complex yet restrained Montalto Estate is a wine that will be equally enjoyable in five years as it is today. The Eleven is an elegant style, driven by mineral and citrus. Its impressive tally of five Gold Medals for the 2016 release places it among the top tier of Australian chardonnays. Its Single Vineyard sibling from the Tuerong Block is a more powerful and intense chardonnay that is quickly gaining a similar reputation to the Eleven.

Finally, consider our pinot gris, a fuller-bodied white that is ripe, soft and food-friendly. This wine is aged in older barrels for a short time to impart a smooth, rounded texture to the wine. As a food match, this wine compliments everything from slow-cooked white meats like pork or chicken through to mildly spicy curries.

 

4. What is an aromatic white?


These are some of the most enjoyable and underrated styles of wine going around. They can range from bone dry to slightly sweet but will always display aromas that suggest sweetness. Aromatic white wines, for this reason, are often enjoyed by novice wine drinkers.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


Our Montalto Estate Riesling is made in a deliciously dry style with fruit from the 30-year-old home vineyard. It holds the distinction of being one of a very small handful of Mornington Peninsula-grown rieslings in a region dominated by chardonnay and pinot gris. It has fresh aromas of lime zest, green apple and ginger, and makes the perfect companion to spicy Asian flavours, such as Thai or Vietnamese.

 

5. What is rosé?


Besides being some of the most fashionable wines at the moment, rosé wines are some of the most interesting and involved wines from a production point of view. This, like chardonnay, is also a winemaker’s wine, in that the style of wine is very heavily influenced by the winemaker’s choices.

There are essentially two main techniques for rosé production: the saigneé method and the purpose-built method.

Saigneé, from the French ‘to bleed”, involves extracting a small amount of juice from a red wine parcel of fruit after a short amount of skin contact (and before fermentation begins). While often more powerful and concentrated, rosé wines made in this style can be more fruit-driven and higher in alcohol than is typically desired for rosé.

Purpose-built rosés are made from fruit that is selected especially to be made into rosé, meaning the ripeness and alcohol are more easily controlled. With this method, the juice and skin remain in contact for a short time before being transferred to the press.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


The Pennon Hill Rosé is made with a view to quality. It is a purpose-built rosé made from 100% pinot noir grapes. We ferment a small portion of our rosé in old French oak to impart a subtle spice complexity. This wine is light and refreshing with aromas and flavours of strawberry and cream. Perfect to enjoy chilled on a summer evening with a charcuterie platter.

 

6. What is a light-bodied red?


While many red-drinkers love rich and heavy reds, lighter-bodied reds are some of the most pleasurably complex wines, offering aromas of fruit, spice, oak and the structure of delicate tannins. Lighter red wines can be enjoyed year-round as well. Some people even prefer to drink wines like these lightly chilled, but that’s totally optional!

What to try from the Montalto Range?


Pinot noir is the classic grape that most people associate with lighter-bodied reds, and as it happens pinot noir is also the grape that Mornington Peninsula is famous for. While we produce an exciting range of pinot noirs, Pennon Hill defines this style perfectly. Aromas of red fruits, including cherry, strawberry and raspberry along with earthy spice and aromas make this a perfect exhibit of ultra-drinkable Mornington pinot noir.

 

7. What is a medium-bodied red?


Medium-bodied reds are some of the most food-friendly examples of red wine. They often illustrate an exceptional balance of fruit, tannins and winemaking influence to produce wines that can be enjoyed with a dazzling array of cuisines and flavours.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


The cool-climate of Mornington Peninsula results in more elegance from varieties that might otherwise be known for producing fuller-bodied red wines. Our Pennon Hill Shiraz is a great example. This wine is the epitome of cool-climate shiraz and the current release has won a swag of wine show awards and trophies. It shows alluring blueberry fruits coupled with delicate white peppery spice.

Our tempranillo is another medium-bodied red with excellent food-matching potential. As a Mediterranean (Spanish) grape, tempranillo seems to really shine with food. Grilled meats, and pasta dishes with tomato-based sauce compliment this wine beautifully.

 

8. What is a full-bodied red?


Full-bodied red wines are the most powerful and rich wines made from red grapes. These wines are typically made from thick-skinned grapes that are picked quite ripe and, therefore, packed full of colour and have higher than average alcohol levels. Many of the best examples can be cellared for many years (sometimes decades!!) because of their powerful structure. Full-bodied reds are usually best enjoyed with rich and hearty foods or stronger-flavoured cheeses.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


Given the climatic limitations of Mornington Peninsula, there are very few truly full-bodied reds from the region. Our only candidate for this style of wine would be the Montalto Estate Shiraz, which is made from our best parcel of fruit from our best shiraz planting. This wine has blackberry, plum and black olive fruit flavours, backed by a complex range of savoury spice notes. It can certainly age for 5-10 years as well.

 

9. What is a dessert wine?


Usually made from grapes of incredible ripeness, dessert wines are normally lusciously sweet with full body. They can be made from a wide variety of grapes in a variety of climate conditions, and often use creative viticultural methods (such as cane-cutting or harvesting frozen grapes) to concentrate the juice of the grape.

What to try from the Montalto Range?


Our Late-Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes which were left on the vine for an additional six weeks after the normal table wine harvest. Sauvignon blanc is one of the main varieties used in Sauternes, one of the most famous dessert wine appellations of France. It exhibits concentrated, exotic aromas of mango and passionfruit; the sauvignon blanc grape retains just enough acid to maintain a delicate balance with the sweetness.

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