This article is from the WineMaking FAQ, by malak@CAM.ORG (Don Buchan) with numerous contributions by others.
Usually used as a tirage yeast but could be used for innoculating the
cuvee in sparkling wines as well. Has subdued yeastiness with crispness.
Very popular for reds. Fast, strong fermenter used for full bodied
reds. Yields wines that are complex with cabernet style concentration
of fruit and colour.
Intended for dry, crisp, white wines. The yeast provides complexity
instead of fruitiness emphasizing acidity. Sensitive to sudden
chilling. Foams spectacularly.
Produces a distinctive, flowery, complex combination of scents when
fermented cool. Slows with sudden chilling but usually completes. Good
for riesling and other German style wines.
Starts very slowly and ferments evenly. Fermentation temperature does
not change much nor is activity that apparent. Provides a highly
aromatic character called 'fruit salad' or tropical flavour. Not
generally used in reds. Sensitive to SO2. May produce excess H2S if
sulphur dust is on the fruit.
Champagne yeast (Saccharomycetes Bayanus) High alcohol tolerant, clean
fermenting yeast. High sulphite tolerance. Will ferment dry. Good for
champagnes, stuck ferments, particularly in a high alcohol and/or high
sugar wine. A "killer strain", it excretes enzymes which are noxious to
other yeasts. Also typically used to innoculate a still, sulphited,
fined and filtered but unsorbated wine ready for champagning.
Saccharomycetes Ceriviceae. General purpose mid to high alcohol tolerant
"killer yeast" good for innoculating fresh juices which may contain wild
strains of yeast, particularly under conditions of sulphite-free
fermentation and/or to innoculate an spontaneously fermenting must.