Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

Stephen Brook attended the Pichon Baron masterclass at this year's Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, where he tasted 12 vintages of the Bordeaux second growth stretching back to 2001.

Pichon Baron wines at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2017.
Pichon Baron wines at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2017.

Stephen Brook tastes 12 vintages at Decanter's Encounter...

The post Château Pichon Baron vertical: A Decanter masterclass appeared first on Decanter.


Stephen Brook attended the Pichon Baron masterclass at this year's Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, where he tasted 12 vintages of the Bordeaux second growth stretching back to 2001.

Pichon Baron wines at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2017.
Pichon Baron wines at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2017.

Stephen Brook tastes 12 vintages at Decanter's Encounter...

The post Château Pichon Baron vertical: A Decanter masterclass appeared first on Decanter.

Stephen Brook attended the Pichon Baron masterclass at this year's Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, where he tasted 12 vintages of the Bordeaux second growth stretching back to 2001.

Pichon Baron wines at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2017.
Pichon Baron wines at the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2017.

Scroll down to see Stephen Brook’s Pichon Baron tasting notes and scores


Pichon Baron: A brief history

For fifty years, from the 1930s onward, the splendid showpiece Bordeaux château of Pichon Longueville Baron lay empty, the shareholders reluctant to invest in a property that urgently needed more funds. The quality of the wine was mediocre at best.

Skip forward to 1987, and the Bouteillers decided it was time to sell up. The giant insurance company AXA had decided to enter the wine business, and its subsidiary AXA Millésimes was run by Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages.Cazes lived a mile away and knew the region inside out, and realised this was an opportunity too good to miss.


The wines: Available exclusively to Decanter Premium members


Advances

pichon baron wines poured dfwe 2017

Pichon Baron wines are poured for Masterclass guests at DFWE 2017.

Changes were rapid. The château was restored, machine-harvesting was ended, and over the years its 33 hectares of vineyards were more than doubled.

In a brilliant stroke, Cazes organised an architectural competition. The winning Franco-American team created a neo-baroque yet modern fantasy, and built the actual winery under the courtyard with a shallow pool on top of it.

Not everyone loved the new buildings – Madame de Lencquesaing, chatelaine of Château Pichon-Lalande across the road, was none too fond of it – but few tourists pass by without pulling over to the side of the road to photograph the site.

More importantly, quality improved swiftly, starting with the 1988 vintage. Even in the frost-ridden 1991 vintage, Pichon Baron made a very good wine.

Since Cazes’ retirement, his replacement at the head of AXA Millésimes, Christian Seely, and technical director Jean-René Matignon, have continued his excellent work.

Quality has never been higher than it is today, partly thanks to ever more rigorous selection.

In 2001 Seely decided to make the grand vin solely from a 40 hectare sector just south of the château that consistently produced the finest wines. Roughly 80% of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives the wine its characteristic structure and power.

The fruit is optically sorted and vinified in steel and wooden vats. The wine is then aged in approximately 80% new oak.

It was Seely who hosted this masterclass at Decanter’s Fine Wine Encounter – an excellent opportunity to taste almost the full set of vintages this side of the millennium. As the tasting demonstrated, Pichon Baron is a rich, formidable wine of great splendour, a true Pauillac blazing with fruit yet superbly structured for long ageing.


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The post Château Pichon Baron vertical: A Decanter masterclass appeared first on Decanter.


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Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.