First of all, this 2019 year was better thant the two last ones. Last year, harvest was a week to 10 days early; this year we had a harvest beginning at a normal time. A mild winter helped kickstart the vines, cool April and May slowed down growth. We were lucky to avoid spring frosts, but we had to face high temperatures of this summer… To fight the drought and avoid a third problematic year, the appelation of Vacqueyras allowed to use irrigation for the vines. Despite summer’s heat waves, the general consensus is for high quality and reasonable quantity. Even if we’ve got threw the many climatic hazards that marked the season, the grapes are healthy and beautiful. Quality of the 2019 vintage is promising, we’re confident for a great vintage !
The main particularity for this year is that we made a new way of winemaking for one of our cuvée : the Pince Lapin. This one being our high range Vacqueyras, harvested on a parcellar selection. For the 2019 vintage we made for the first time a carbonic maceration. What does it mean ? Carbonic maceration is a winemaking technique, in which whole grapes are fermented in tank. Conventional winemaking involves crushing the grapes to free the juice and pulp from the skin. Carbonic maceration ferments most of the juice while it is still inside the grape.
Carbonic maceration is the process that occurs when intact bunches of red grapes are fermented in a sealed vessel that has first been filled with carbon dioxide to create an anaerobic environment. In the absence of oxygen, these intact berries begin an intracellular fermentation process, during which some alcohol is produced, along with a range of other compounds that can affect wine flavour. The process occurs naturally in a partial state without deliberate intervention.
Once the level of alcohol reaches 2%, which is after about a week at typical fermentation temperatures of 35 °C, the berries begin to die. They then either release their juice, or more typically are pressed before this happens. Then follows a normal fermentation (carried out by yeasts), resulting in a relatively pale coloured red wine with low tannin levels and enhanced fruity aromatics.
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