new wine and pyrotechnics

While the work goes on in the vineyard, cleaning the wines as well from additional shoots as from ever sprouting grass and wild herbs, to cerate a dry and fungus clean environment, we had the chance to choose an ideal day for working on the new wine from 2008: high pressure, dry and cool wind…

The wines have finally finished their malolactic fermentation in the barrels. While in “modern” winemaking, grape juice is normally inoculated with preselected bacterias, you can buy in any enological shop, we don’t use these king of products and count on the naturally present lactic acid bacterias of our wines. As they don’t work under a certain temperature, it may happen, that the malolactic fermentation stops during winter and we have to wait till spring or even early summer, like this year, till it starts again.

While it’s not finished, wines may be a little bit cloudy and when tasting it, you can easily feel the “spritz” of the carbon dioxide liberated during the process. There are more exacts methods, to follow the evolution, which we use too, like the malolactic chromatography test kit, which economizes us the journey to the next laboratory at Bziers (60 km).

This time, I just tasted and was sure, that everything was finally all right:-)!

Pinot and Mourvedre 2008

Pinot and Mourvedre 2008

So I spend an afternoon pumping over from one barrel to a clean one, paying attention to the coulor of the juice while doing so, to prevent to pump the solid parts, which had been separated by cold and gravity during winter and gathered on the bottom of the barrel.

colors of yeast

colors of yeast - couleurs lie de vin

These solid parts, made of yeast and other bigger compounds, have a beautiful color and we gather them in the end, to fill them into bottles for a good friend, who likes to use them in special sauces accompanying dear…

The wines looked clear, no sparkling on the tip of the tongue, a much rounder mouth-feeling than during winter, when we did the last tests.

reflections of wine 2008

reflections of wine 2008

The moment when the malolactic fermentation is finished and we pump the wine slowly into freshly cleaned barrels, is also the moment when we put for the first time sulfur dioxid (SO2) into our wines, to protect them from bacterial deviation during the next 10 or 12 months they will stay in the barrels.

contains (very few) sulfites

contains (very few) sulfites

When bottled, their remains very few SO2 in the wines, for the 2006 and 2007, it was less than 10mg of total So2 – so we could even have omitted the warning “contains sulfites” on our labels – but as we use it during wine elaboration, we preferred to mark: contains less then 10 mg/l on our labels, to inform allergic wine drinkers.

Yesterday evening, we took a break, as it was the night of the fireworks at Olargues, to celebrate the 14. July – Bastille Day French national holiday..

And even if the fireworks in our small village (500 habitants) may not be as big and impressive as at New Orleans, New York, San Francisco or Paris, it’s always nice to assist at these moments, when all the street lights go out and the event starts on the old devils bridge across the river Jaur.

I took some photos with my small pocket camera – they are not of professional quality, but two of them reminded me the emotions I felt when tasting the young wines from the barrels the other day.

Pinot Noir explosing

Pinot Noir exploding

The Pinot Noir – future “Clos du Cure 2008”, exploding with much strength and warms in your mouth, not yet totally decided about where to establish its harmony amongst tannines, fruit and alcohol.

And the much darker Mourvedre, who will be the future “Clos des Cedres 2008”, deep, profound, but already surprising by its harmony and freshness – revealing a beautiful deploying fan of aromas which lasts for a small eternity even in the emptied glass….

Mourvedre deploying its aroma fan

Mourvedre deploying its aroma fan


2 thoughts on “new wine and pyrotechnics

  1. Hello, regarding your testing for the completion of MLF, my company produces a Quick Test for malic acid. It is based on an enzyme reaction with malate dehydrogenase, can be run in just 4 minutes, requres no lab equipment, and is sensitive to just 30 mg/L. It is much faster, simpler, and more sensitive than chromatography. Many winemakers, including many in Australia, are switching to our test. It is available directly from us, or through our distributor in France, Isitec-Lab. Please let me know if you would like additional information.


    Michael Miller
    The Reluctant Chemist

  2. Pingback: Nearly finished « diary of a german winemaker from the South of France

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