May 8, 2023 by
Maytte Rivera

Pyrazines are an aromatic compound found in grapes that give some wines their herbal and vegetal character.  They are concentrated on the grape skins and are associated with the green bell pepper aromas of certain grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carménere. The intensity of this compound can vary depending not only on the grape, but also the growing region and pruning techniques.  Grapes grown in cooler climates, like Bordeaux, tend to develop more pyrazines than grapes from warmer climates. 

In small amounts, pyrazines can add complexity to the wine with scents of freshly cut grass, bright tarragon, or green peppercorns, but in large amounts they can express unpleasant smells of overripe vegetables. Try a bottle of Miguel Torres Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, Pulenta Gran Cabernet Franc from Argentina, and Chateau Larose Trintaudon from Bordeaux to experience the subtle nuances of this complex compound.

Author: Maytte Rivera

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