Bordeaux 2012: some Cabernets in need of help

Due to the late season this year many cabernets have not had the time before the arrival of the autumn weather to fully ripen. Many producers have left it as late as possible but suffered from Botrytis. The Cabernets have had to be harvested with still some elements of greeness (pyrazine, aroma of green pepper). Many Cabernets this year need a helping hand in the form of thermovinification.

This involves heating the juice to 75°C which destroys pigments (anthocyanins), any tannins but also any botrytised grapes will be laccase free – rid of the rot flavours. It makes the wine fruity without these elements but there may be some difficulty in maintaining the colour in these wines.

It is a technique in frequent use this year in Bordeaux with additional costs (2000€/ 200 hectolitre plus 6€ per hecto en plus) and implications for the  ageing potential of these wines.

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