Medium-Bodied Reds Wine Style Guide
Last updated: 9/2021
Applies to: winemakers making medium-bodied red wines in a variety of styles. This article contains a pdf download with complete process and product recommendations.
Medium-Bodied Red Wine Style Guide
Winemakers can drive wine style based on key processing decisions and correct product choice. We created these Scott Labs wine style guides to provide both process and product recommendations for helping winemakers achieve their stylistic goals.
Medium-Bodied Red Wines
Learn how we think about "Medium-Bodied Reds" to determine if this style guide is right for you:
Medium bodied reds are a broad category of wines that share the characteristics of moderate alcohol, moderate acidity, and balanced tannins. These wines often exhibit strong varietal aroma characters (thiols and terpenes) as the tannin in the varieties are not inherently dominant.
Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Rhône reds (Syrah, Mourvèdre, and some styles of Grenache), Sangiovese, Barbera, Some styles of Pinot noir.
Unique Winemaking Considerations
Protecting and enhancing varietal characteristics to meet the desired wine style
- Fruit-forward (berry, pomegranate, cherry and plum)
- Spicy and savory (anise, pepper, grilled meat, tobacco, cedar, leather)
- Floral (violets and roses)
Achieving the desired level of extraction
These wines can become over extracted, masking varietal fruit and aroma characters.
The inherent tannin content of these wines are lower than big reds so they can be more prone to oxidation and adverse effects on color.
Protecting against off-odors
Some medium-bodied wines, like Syrah and Tempranillo, are prone to developing volatile sulfur off-odors even when good fermentation practices are employed. Low to no H2S production yeast strains should be considered in these cases.