Aromatic reds?

I love Barolos, principally for their addictively heady - but sometimes elusive - pear-drop perfume. Recently I tried the Society’s Thymiopoulos Naoussa Jeunes Vignes 2015 from the xynomavro grape that had something of the same fragrance, but at a fraction of the price, which got me wondering about other reds that are special for their aromatic qualities rather than just their taste. Any suggestions?


Great question

Off the top of my head, two to investigate might be Mavrotragano (another Greek, but less well known), or a Sicilian Nerello Mascalese.

Will put my thinking cap on though, sounds like a fun challenge

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Petit Verdot as a varietal and not a blend produces aromatic reds , highly pigmented and tannic with spice aromas.
Traditionally as a blending partner in Bordeaux, its now finding its feet more in the new world. I believe Mclaren Vale, Washington state and a number of Chilean producers are growing it.
The other one to consider, again French would be Barbaroux, ( not to be confused with Barbarossa, although called Barbarossa on Corsica but not to be confused with mainland Italian Barbarossa… Confused yet?).
Grown primarily in Ajaccio AOC of Corscia and the cassis AOC of Provence. Its highly aromatic but very lightly pigmented, I have never ever seen a varietal of this grape, just aware that its considered an aromatic ‘red’ grape so if you find one, please let me know :slight_smile:

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Lacrima di Morro d’Alba (Marche) is one of the most unusual aromatic red varietals. Very much a “Marmite” wine but the most aromatic red I’ve ever had! I love it and can get it from Great Western Wine in Bath, but everyone should try it - even if half of you will hate it!

Drink Recipes


With you there. The Society lists an occasional Lacrima di Morra d’Alba. Watch this space … but not too closely :wink:

Slurp has Umani Ronchi Lacrima di Morra occasionally at around £15. I’ve tried that, and it does indeed have an extraordinary fragrance - like an Auntie’s talcum powder.

The Society sometimes lists BG Burlotto’s Pelaverga for about £12, which has a nice bouquet but is very light and low in tannin - a nice summer red to drink chilled, but not as deep as Barolo.

My current personal favourite for fragrance is Ruche. I don’t think the Society has ever listed a wine from this grape but Swig do a lovely one - rose petals and a touch of tar (it’s another Piedmontese).

And - this may be off topic as it’s a sweet wine and only just red - the Society has Nuy Red Muskadel which is just fantastic: lots of grapey muscat aromas mixed with raspberry jam, and a bargain at under £11.


Great question. I too am a big fan of Barolo and the Thymiopoulos wines. Definitely agree with @robert_mcintosh about the Mavrotragano. Was also impressed by this £8.50 Spanish garnacha from the Gredos mountains - ‘aromatic, fresh, and with a beautiful combination of power and vitality’ indeed! :slight_smile:


This is a very aromatic petit verdot blend:


Bingo! :}
Thanks @Richard

Can any Burgundy lovers recommend any especially fragrant pinot noirs from the Society’s list?

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Time and budget prevent me being a burgundy expert, but I think age is the thing which gets the aromatics in Pinot interesting. Which makes a recommendation from any list difficult.

Here a note on one I found locally last month;-
“Tonight a Santenay VV 2002 by Compte de Jesse. Slightly spirit on nose, bright well made, earthy red berry fruit. All you could wish for at £17 from the local farm shop. Good value from an unknown source.”

Even more aromatic last summer;-1999 Dominique Laurent Chambolle-Musigny " So drinkable and savoury. The cork had crumbled but still intent enough. The wine a browning red and cloudy, but the taste alive and strawberry, spicy with oak still showing. The bottle disappeared in no time."

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Hi Tony,
The one that pops immediately to mind is Nerello Mascalese. It’s a recent discovery which I keep coming back to. A whiff of volcanic ash, perhaps? Or maybe it’s the association in my mind with Mount Etna, where it grows. The other one I’m thinking of, which is becoming a family favourite, is the Portugese Touriga Nacional. There’s something really powerful, violet-like about its aroma. And it’s still an incredibly good value for money wine, I feel. Big, bold and beautiful :slight_smile:


Yes indeed, that is a super wine.


For me a serious Beaujolais is right up there with the best in terms of perfume and depth. A personal favourite is Burgaud’s Morgon Cote du Py. A real treat with purity of fruit and the mineral depth of the Py’s granite soils

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I particularly love the nose on a good carmenere. Haven’t tried any of TWS ones but had recent excellent examples from Errazuriz (the Max Reserva) and Casa Silva (the Micro Terroir).

Totally with you on this one! I particularly like Santa Rita’s Medalla Real