Whenever you hear the term ‘‘Fruit Bomb’’, what the folks are talking about is a modern style of winemaking, which basically accentuates fruit that is really lush and ripe. These wines are big and in-your-face, rich, jammy, lots of plums, blackberries and other red fruits.
Some examples of a ‘‘Fruit Bomb” can be California Zinfandels, Australian Shiraz, or assertive California Cabernets or related Blends. Malbecs from Argentina are going big on the fruit too as they continue to sell to the American market that loves their fruit!
Even the Old World regions such as Spain, Italy and France are now getting into the ball game in order to be in synch with drinking trends.
One thing for sure is that it is selling in America and most people think that they are delicious. Even if there are cynics that say ‘‘Fruit Bomb’’ wines are hateful, unbalanced, over-extracted, signifying that the ripe fruit flavors come at the expense of structure, character, good food pairing and sense of place…Whew!
It's true that to make a ‘‘Fruit Bomb’’, grapes can be left on the vine longer to get riper flavors, and that this can result in less acidity and higher alcohol. One thing for sure is that there is a major difference between a wine being “Fruit Forward” and a wine being a “Fruit Bomb’’! The important words to think about is control and restraint. Remember not every high-alcohol wine is a ‘‘Fruit Bomb’’, and not every ‘‘Fruit Bomb’’ has high alcohol, or sacrifices balance or structure for fruit flavors. Some wines just have a lot more fruit than others.
My thoughts are that there should be balance. In many case ‘‘Fruit Bomb’s’’ are the wines that keep public coming back for more wine. There are so many great ones! I find that with a “Fruit Forward” wine there is good dominant fruit with a lot of secondary flavors coming to the fore. So making an across the board determination is not the way to go. A wine can have pronounced fruit flavors and still be balanced, such as an Italian Amorone or a Spanish Tempranillo can be; but sometimes folks will say… just because it’s a “Fruit Bomb” it gives the the reason to guess that a wine is out of balance and lacks complexity… which is not true at all.
Wine is in the eye of the beholder…”Fruit Bomb” or not, you'll have to assess it by your own perspective.