A concise dictionary of wine-related terms for enthusiasts and lovers of all things enological
Taken from the word caudal (tail), it is the unit of measurement used to describe the length of a wine’s finish. One Caudalie equals one second. The finish of a fine wine can last up to eight Caudalies.
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CaudalieTaken from the word caudal (tail), it is the unit of measurement used to describe the length of a wine’s finish. One Caudalie equals one second. The finish of a fine wine can last up to eight Caudalies.
CésarA highly tannic variety, used in northern Burgundy.
ChasselasA white variety that is cultivated primarily as a table grape, but is also used to make wine in several regions. Its typical aroma is lime-blossom.
ChewySaid of a wine that is thick and full enough on the palate that it gives the sensation of being able to be chewed. A chewy wine.
CloneAny grapevine created from a single vine stock, called the parent stock, and spread elsewhere using cutting and grafting techniques.
ClosedSaid of a quality wine that is still young and has not yet acquired a very pronounced bouquet. It requires aging before it is consumed. Sometimes during the aging process the wine passes through states where it is less flavorful and expressive than it should be based on its vintage and the expected quality. It is thus said to be “closed”.
CoarseSaid of a wine that is low quality, either because it has under ripe, hard or rough tannins, or because it has too much alcohol and not enough body.
Congé (tax acquittal)Fiscal document that must accompany wine when it is transported.
CooperativeWinery that is owned by winemakers in a cooperative, also known as a wine producers’ union. Approximately half of all French wine is now sold by cooperatives or cooperative unions.
CorkedSaid of a wine that has an off-taste due to a problem with the cork. This taste is usually caused by a mildew-infested cork and can be amplified by poor cleansing procedures or the products used to treat the cork.
CoulureFrench term for failed pollination of the grape blossoms. Called "shot berries" in English, this can have many causes (rain, cold, physiology) and has a significant affect on yields and the level of maturity of the grapes even within a single cluster. Some varieties, like Merlot, are highly susceptible to this condition, while others, like Cabernet Sauvignon, are not.
CourbuA white variety from Béarn and the Basque Country.
CrispSaid of a wine that fresh and fruity. Synonym: a fresh wine