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.

Paz Levinson, Peter Richards MW and Dircau Vianna Junior MW tasted 95 South American red blends, with 4 Outstanding and 46 Highly Recommended.

Premium South American red blends

Some top names from South America...

The post Premium South American red blends: Panel tasting results appeared first on Decanter.


Paz Levinson, Peter Richards MW and Dircau Vianna Junior MW tasted 95 South American red blends, with 4 Outstanding and 46 Highly Recommended.

Premium South American red blends

Some top names from South America...

The post Premium South American red blends: Panel tasting results appeared first on Decanter.

Paz Levinson, Peter Richards MW and Dircau Vianna Junior MW tasted 95 South American red blends, with 4 Outstanding and 46 Highly Recommended.

Premium South American red blends

Entry criteria: Producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release, super-premium red blends with availability in the UK or US markets.


Scroll down to see the tasting notes & scores


The verdict

Considering that all the wines in this tasting were at a super-premium level, the judges were justifiably expecting something special. The strike-rate was impressive, with more than half rated Outstanding or Highly Recommended. Overall there was an admirable degree of consistency, and there was plenty to get excited about.

 


Top South American red blends from the panel tasting:


See all 95 wines from this panel tasting


Argentina: know your vintages

2018 An excellent vintage: warm, sunny days and cool nights ensured perfect ripening.

2017 Forward, exuberant and harmonious reds despite the long, hot summer.

2016 One of the coldest vintages in a decade, resulting in lighter wines with notably crisp acidity.

2015 A long harvest yielding attractive, juicy reds – especially fresh and vibrant for those who picked early.

2014 Low-yielding harvest and wines with assertive acidity that are ageing well.

2013 A notoriously cool vintage. The top-end wines are ageing gracefully.

2012 Low-yielding harvest due to frost. Those who escaped made ripe, juicy, concentrated reds.

Argentina wine grape plantings

Total cultivated area 220,848ha

Malbec 42,999ha

Cabernet Sauvignon 14,666ha

Syrah 12,247ha

Merlot 5,306ha

Cabernet Franc 1,146ha

Petit Verdot 652ha

Source: INV-Database


Chile: know your vintages

2018 Favourable conditions, with moderate temperatures resulting in a promising vintage of harmonious reds.

2017 Abnormally hot vintage including severe wild fires. Despite an early harvest, the wines are marred by the heat.

2016 An excellent vintage, especially for those who opted to pick early.

2015 Noticeably warm vintage yielded ripe, exuberant and succulent reds.

2014 The season started with a frost and finished warm and sunny, resulting in generally good-quality reds.

2013 One of the coolest vintages in recent memory, giving long-lived, sophisticated reds.

2012 A challenging, warm vintage, abnormally humid. Most wines should be drunk now.

Chile wine grape plantings

Total cultivated area 137,375ha

Cabernet Sauvignon 41,156ha

Merlot 11,703ha;

Carmenère 10,250ha

Syrah 7,738ha

Malbec 2,249ha

Cabernet Franc 1,578ha

Petit Verdot 863ha

Source: Wines of Chile


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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.