Wine is one of the most aromatic substances we put in our bodies. It produces several compounds that, when released into our noses, cause a whirlwind of sensations.
Descriptors exist because our brains want to associate these compounds with something we’re already familiar with.
For example, the compounds known as pyrazines create notes of vegetables and bell peppers. Other compounds produce a variety of smells, from citrus to garden hose (yes, I’ve heard this one).
Floral smells are also very common. Subtle rose petals, orange blossoms, or violets are common. Some wines even produce notes of lavender, which can transport the wine drinker straight to a country garden.
These scents can come from the grapes themselves or from the natural environment. For example, sometimes herbs and aromatic plants grown near grape vines will influence the smell of the grapes.
Which Wine Varieties Have Lavender Notes?
The most common wines that have lavender notes are GSM blends, wines from Tuscany, Provence, France, and parts of the New World. The grapes that produce these aromas are bold, red, and fruit-forward.
Where Do Wines With Lavender Notes Come From?
Wines with lavender notes come from a variety of places around the world. Some places like Provence, France, and New Zealand produce more wines with these floral aromas.
In Provence, lavender grows on hillsides and next to grapevines. Sometimes wine grapes will take on the aromas of plants that are nearby.
Lavender is so strong that it sometimes influences the smell of its neighboring grapes.
Are Lavender Notes Only Present in White Wines?
Lavender aromas are generally not found in white wines. The exception to this rule is in Provence, France, where wild lavender grows side by side with the grapes.
The vines will pick up the aromas of the lavender, and the grapes themselves will begin to smell like the herb.
Do Lavender Notes Come from the Barrel?
The most common sources of lavender notes come from the grapes themselves and not the barrel. The compounds geraniol and linalool are some of the common causes of these aromas.
Barrels provide notes of tobacco and leather. They also provide more tannins to wines. Floral aromas are all thanks to the plants.
Are There Grape Varieties With Lavender Notes?
The most common grapes containing notes of lavender include Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and other reds like Malbec and Tempranillo. These reds often exhibit strong notes of lavender, especially when young.
Sangiovese grown in Tuscany produces notes of lavender as well. Some of these wines, especially the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, are known for their lavender aromas, which are often sought after by wine collectors.
Final Thoughts on Wine with Lavender Notes
Wines have compounds that produce aromas. These aromas can smell like common foods and other plants. For example, a common aroma is lavender.
The herb lavender can also produce these aromas in neighboring grape vines. Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Malbec, and Tempranillo are most commonly associated with lavender notes. Sangiovese, especially from Tuscany, is famous for its delicious lavender notes.