Red wine vinification
Malbec, the earliest of the red grape varieties, reaches maturity around September 15 / 20, closely followed by Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon is the latest, it must wait until the beginning of October for it to fully express its potential and finesse.
The purpose of red wine making is to extract the interesting fraction of phenolic compounds (tannins et anthocyanins) and aromas present in the berry skins. The grapes are destemmed and vatted. Color and aromas begin to appear during the pre-fermentation phase.
Then, the fermentation yeasts transform the sugar into alcohol by releasing heat. It is during fermentation, under the combined action of heat and alcohol, that the tannins are extracted. We keep the temperature below 26/28°C: above this temperature, there is a risk of extracting astringent tannins and losing aromas.
Throughout the vatting process, pumping over is carried out on each vat at least twice a day, intensely at the beginning, then moderately from mid-fermentation onwards, in order to promote extraction by renewal of the juice in contact with the skins.
Regular tasting of each vat will gradually reveal the character and potential of each one, and will guide the winemaker’s decisions. In particular, when the extraction is judged optimal (after 20 to 30 days of vatting), we proceed with the draining: the new wine is separated from the marc. A gentle pressing of the marc gives the press wine which will be treated separately.
Malolactic fermentation stabilizes the wine, which is then biologically complete.
Maturing then begins, successive rackings clarify the wine and gradually refine it.
The blending of the different batches is an important decision that determines the final character of the wine, its style.
After 12 to 18 months, after clarification and stabilization, the wine is bottled at the property.