Bordeaux 2012: let’s see what we have

Franck Moureau, Château Béard La Chapelle, St Emilion Grand Cru, tasting his 12 vats

Aromas of black fruits, deep colour, good acidity (will reduce after malolactic fermentation)…tannins to come

The grape juice has now turned into wine which is slowly extracting the tannins, aromatics and colour from the skins. Now is the time for lots of tasting to determine the right moment to remove the skins from the wine ‘écoulage’. The temperature of the wine is kept at 30° for the alcohol to better extract these elements.There are no more pumping overs just a gentle wetting of the cap of skins (at the top of the vat) from time to time with wine. Occasionally the lees (the dead yeast cells) at the bottom of the vat are stirred into suspension to further nourish the wine.

The key this year is to not extract the green elements from the unripe skins (due to uneven ripening in the vineyards). To perform most activity early on when it is water and not alcohol that extracts the skins.

Total cuvaison time this year will be around 4 weeks (from start fermentation to removal of skins).

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