Quality wines need the right time10. December, 2023
T he weather in the 2020 vintage was not very favourable to the quality of the grapes, and so the vintage saw a battle with rain and grey mould. The musts had a higher malic acid content, lower sugar content and had to be carefully destemmed before fermentation. In order to create the best possible wines for you, we enlisted the help of yeasts in their subsequent training. Today, all young wines are blended on fine yeast lees (this is an old natural vinification process called bâtonnage in French). Their development is regularly monitored and they are given enough time to stabilise, harmonise and finalise.
There are several reasons for using this process:
- 1Regular stirring of the fermentation lees reduces the risk of sorghum (a wine disease in which hydrogen sulphide is produced in the sediment and its aroma is reminiscent of rotten eggs).
- 2After the fermentation is complete (first 2 weeks), some of the intermediate products of the conversion of sugars to alcohol (mainly acetaldehyde) remain in the wine, resulting in increased sulphur dioxide binding, thus eliminating its antioxidant effect. Yeasts and their enzymatic apparatus also have an antioxidant effect and can further reduce the acetaldehyde present to alcohol. The only condition is that they must be present in the young wine in the buoyancy, i.e. they must be stirred regularly (at least twice a week at first, less frequently later) and the wine must not be sulphurised. All of this makes it possible to reduce the total amount of sulphur in the wine and increases its stability and resistance to oxidation.
- 3When the stirring time is prolonged and the yeast sludge is left to sit for several months, valuable substances (especially mannoproteins, glycoproteins, glucans, etc.) are released from the yeast cell walls. These have the effect of improving the organoleptic properties of the wine (increasing its extract, body, fullness, harmony, complexity and creaminess, reducing its sharpness and thinness), while at the same time prolonging its life and creating the conditions for archiving it.
- 4Last but not least, the acidity of the wine is adjusted (the wine is softened) and its protein stability is increased. At the same time, the subsequent formation of tartar in the bottle is reduced.
The use of this vinification process therefore has a number of positive effects on the wine and is a natural process without the need to use any additives.
However, there is one disadvantage and that is the time required. The time required for the above technological process delays the marketing of the wine and forces our customers to be patient and wait. Their reward will be the highest possible quality of the resulting wine of the problematic 2020 vintage.