Big red / full bodied red. What exactly does it mean? Seems like a simple question perhaps, but people do have different ideas or perceptions.
Many people think a big red has lots of tannin, so it dries the mouth out and maybe gives the tonsils a bit of a wrestle on the way down. This can certainly be the case, but it is not the defining factor of a big red, and if the tannin is too much it actually means it is not a very good one.
The other common assumption is a big red is a red with high alcohol. Also this can often (but not always) be true, but again it’s not the defining factor. And too much alcohol will make it taste hot.
Or lots of oak can also be mistaken for a wine being “big”. Big oak maybe, but not necessarily a big wine.
A big red should have lots of fruit concentration. It should be dense and rich and fill your mouth with flavour. This is the defining factor. It does also need texture to carry this, which is provided mostly by tannins, but they should be in balance. A good big / full bodied red will be dry, but not parching or harsh.
We make full bodied reds, and by this I mean we make reds with lots of fruit intensity. The tannins, alcohol & oak need to be in balance with this. A wine can be both big & smooth, and that’s what we try to do.