Fruit-Driven

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

fruit-driven, a tasting term used to convey the fact that a wine has a dominance of grape-derived fruit flavour. For a wine to merit this description, the dominance of fruit overrides flavours in the wine that originate from other processes or treatments which the wine has undergone such as barrel fermentation, barrel maturation, lees contact, malolactic conversion, or, in the case of a sparkling wine, the influence of yeast autolysis. Wines described as fruit-driven are, typically, new world reds. Traditionally, classic European reds and whites were more likely to exhibit complex secondary flavours and aromas, often due to more oxidative winemaking. However, winemaking styles around the world have converged significantly since the late 20th century and by the mid 2010s, a significant and increasing proportion of European wines could be described as fruit-driven, while many New World winemakers were looking for more complex styles of wine in which fruit flavours play an important but secondary role.