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Cabernet Franc is a blue-black grape that is grown around the world, mostly for blending with other red wine grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but also for its own varietal wines. Cabernet Franc is also commonly used for ice wines in North America. The varietal wines created from Cabernet Franc grapes is bright red because of the light color of the grapes.
Because Pinotage is a unique South African grape variety that only seems to grow well in South Africa, most wine drinkers haven't had as much experience with it as they have with other red wines. The situation for Pinotage is made worse by the fact that South Africans have a love it/hate it relationship with Pinotage: some enjoy its unique flavors while others disdain it because it's not European enough. Pinotage wines are characterized by the cherry fruit flavors of Pinot and the earthiness of Rhone Cinsault.
Nebbiolo grapes are grown primarily in the Piedmont region of Italy where they can produce great wines; outside of Piedmont, though, the grapes produce mediocre wines at best. Nebbiolo has complex flavors and aromas, including roses, cherries, truffles, and mints. There can even be hints of tar, tobacco, and leather. Other characteristics of wine made from Nebbiolo grapes include high tannins, high acidity, and high alcohol content. Nebbiolo wines take on orange tinges when they are aged.
Gamay grapes grow especially well in the Beaujolais district of France where they are used to produce Beaujolais wines. Although the Gamay grape itself has lots of tannins, the resulting Gamay wines are characterized by fairly low tannins. Wines made from Gamay grapes have fresh, fruity flavors like strawberry and raspberry and aromas of pears.
Barbera is the third most widely planted red grape variety in Italy though it is most common in the Asti and Alba regions. Barbera grapes produce rich, red wines with strong fruit flavors and aromas, especially black cherry. Other characteristics of wines made with Barbera grapes include low, mild tannins and high acidity which produces a crisp taste.
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