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.

What makes this a wine legend?

M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991

What makes this a wine legend?

The post Wine Legend: M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991 appeared first on Decanter.


What makes this a wine legend?

M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991

What makes this a wine legend?

The post Wine Legend: M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991 appeared first on Decanter.

What makes this a wine legend?

M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991

Wine Legends: M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991, Rhône, France

  • Bottles produced 9,000
  • Composition 100% Syrah
  • Yield 15hl/ha
  • Alcohol 13.5%
  • Release price 160 French Francs
  • Price today £467

A legend because…

In 1988 Michel Chapoutier took control of this distinguished Rhône producer in a kind of family coup. He soon made radical changes, such as throwing out ancient chestnut barrels and moving rapidly towards biodynamic farming. Another innovation was the release of very limited luxury cuvées from top appellations, such as white and red Hermitage, Côte-Rôtie and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, all from very old vines. Some of these wines were aged entirely in new oak. They made an immediate impression and were hailed as among the greatest wines of the Rhône Valley.

Looking back

This was a period of flux at Chapoutier, with Michel making his mark with great energy, not to say ruthlessness. By the late 1980s its big, burly, somewhat rustic wines were no longer selling and bankruptcy was looming. A cash injection from its American importer saved the day, but in return Michel was encouraged to take control and implement his innovative ideas. New bottlings showed more precision and freshness, while the special cuvées attracted attention – not only because of their high prices. The revolution was set to continue, with the acquisition of vineyards in Provence and Australia.

The vintage

There was a tendency to underestimate 1991, as 1988, 1989 and 1990 were all sunny and hot. After a cold spring, the summer was pleasant but not especially hot, and there was some rain at harvest, so growers were on alert for rot. Picking for this wine took place on 10 October, and low yields gave fine concentration. Initially perceived as a lightweight vintage, it later became clear that wines from the best sites, such as Le Pavillon, had considerable staying power.

The terroir

The grapes, from vines around 70 years old, were sourced from the oldest plants in the Les Bessards lieu-dit near the top of the Hermitage hill. They are planted on poor sedimentary soils over a granitic subsoil. This sector gives what are probably the most structured wines from the Hermitage hill.

The wine

The grapes were destemmed before being treated to a cuvaison of four weeks in an old and unsealed oak vat. Extraction was achieved by punching down the cap once or twice a day. Fermentation took place at a temperature that did not exceed 32°C. After the wine had fermented to dryness it was aged for 12 months in older barrels acquired from Drouhin in Burgundy. No press wine was used, and it was bottled without filtration.

The reaction

 

In 2017, Matt Walls wrote: ‘Still seriously concentrated and remains remarkably youthful – this will last from now until 2040 with ease.’

In the same year Jeff Leve commented: ‘Powerful, big, full-bodied, rich and deep. Believe it or not, I think it needs more time to develop to its full potential. This is really such a super wine.’


More Wine Legends:

Wine Legend: Fonseca 1963

Wine Legend: Clonakilla, Shiraz-Viognier 2001

Wine Legend: Le Pin, Pomerol 1982

 

The post Wine Legend: M Chapoutier, Le Pavillon, Ermitage 1991 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.