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"Fruit driven"


“Fruit driven”…now there’an oft used phrase guaranteed to put me on Defcon 3 of grumpiness .Why? because it generally means sweet fruit… That wine will nearly always be binned as ‘Not for me’ unless I happen to be looking for a light breakfast port. But each to their own alcoholic Ribena.
For a short while I was hooke on Marlborough Sauvignon but after I had been sent some samples of Coteaux Giennois Villargeau, I never bought the Kiwi stuff agin.
Most of my friends were and still are NZSauvignon fans and tried to convert me back to Kiwi…I explained my preference with a rugby analogy…both are 5 points but. Vincent Clerk had rather more finesse than Jonah Lomu…can’t remember the significance of the latter but I do tend to wander around subjects these days, and it was Six Nations weekend…:neutral_face::innocent:

About the Drinks Chat category

Funnily enough I’ve never really put fruit driven and sweetness together and one of the best things about TWS is that their wines, with one exception, have never been overly sweet to my taste, unless of course, they’re meant to be.

Obviously some people are more susceptible.


I must admit I’ve not noticed the “fruit driven” description in TWS lists, butquite often in newsprint description of new world reds.
How about residual sugar levels are mandatory on wine labels !!!


Had my first exposure to Coteaux Giennois today and was similarly impressed. I also tend to base most of my own personal wine notes on sporting analogies and can see where you are coming from.

But having said that I’m guilty of using the term in question. To me most wines have a dominant or noteworthy feature. For some that is acidity, for others it might be tannins or oak etc. But there are many wines where the fruit is the dominant/most noteworthy characteristic and that is where I would use the term. For instance I used it today to describe a very dry Muscadet so to me it doesn’t necessarily translate to sweetness, just that the fruit characters are what drive the flavour profile of the wine.


Is there a difference between “fruit driven” and “fruity”?

And, to be even more cynical, between “terroir driven” and “lacking fruit”? :slight_smile:


Yes, the second one is an existing expression (word)…


Amen​:wine_glass::innocent:To me and several others " driven" is the problematic descriptive word. It obviously means different things to different drinkers…I always think sweet fruit supermarket international style reds "…


Apologies for my lame attempts to edit and format in orderly fashion…I blame the thought of a fruit driven red !!:wine_glass::rose::smirk:


Do we mean ‘young and dominated by primary fruit flavours’ or possibly ‘ripe’?


OK, I will put my hand up and say I am probably guilty of having used this term.

If I were to use this today, I would differentiate (in my mind) between:

  • a ‘fruity’ wine - a wine that has certain obvious fruit characteristics separate from other taste characteristics, but these fruit elements could be described in many ways (including unripe) and are only one element of the whole
  • a ‘ripe’ wine - one where the fruit used shows signs of having been picked particularly ripe, round, soft and therefore affecting the balance of that particular wine, and
  • a ‘fruit-driven’ wine - where the wine-maker has crafted (or ended up with) a wine whose main character is the fruit as opposed to, for example, the acidity, tannin, structure, etc.

So if I were to use it, I would hopefully be trying to convey that there is a strong emphasis on the young (primary) fruit flavours in this wine and that it was probably designed to be this way, and that it is more, or less, successful in this, and one should not necessarily either look for, or wait to get, something more from this particular wine

A younger wine might not be ripe, but could be fruity and show plenty of primary fruit flavours yet have the potential to age and develop and therefore not be fruit-driven.


“‘People generally want a fruitier style with less aggressive tannin,’ comments Sebastian Payne MW, chief wine buyer for The Wine Society”

This is from an article in Decanter 2001 discussing the influence of Robert Parker on wines he preferred ie with “gobs of fruit”, I think Parker can be credited with to a large degree the emergence of fruit driven wines as his influence was enormous in creating after '82 a sea change in the way many Chateaus made their wines, some cases good , some not so good, but that style has gone full circle now that he has retired, if nothing else proving his influence in wine.