Understanding Sparkling wines


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A look at sparkling wines and how they are made

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  • Spumante – full fledge sparkling
    Cava -  and uses a selection of the grapes Macabeu, Parellada, Xarel·lo, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Subirat. Penedes region.
    Espumante – portugal- Espumante from DOC Bairrada, it must be made in the traditional Champagne (indicating the year of harvest) and stamped with the VEQPRD (Vinho Espumante de Qualidade Produzido em Região Determinada) certification.
    VFQPRD: is a regional sparkling wine made in the traditional champagne, charmat or transfer method in one of the following determined regions: Douro,Ribatejo, Minho, Alentejo or Estremadura.
  • Liquer de Triage – reserve wine + cane sugar and yeast added for 2nd fermentation. Bottled sealed w/crown caps. 2nd fermentation last 1 – 3 weeks then bottles laid on their side for contact with lees.
    Maturation – 15 mo NV; 36 mo vintage
    8-10 months it goes thru autolysis which their nuclei releases amino acids and other nutrients into the wine. It creates the aromas and flavors that taste biscut like or toasty. Longer it’s autolysed the more pronounced the bread dough is.
    Liquor d’Expedition – topped off w/additional champagne lost during disorging
  • Cotes de blanc & Montagne de Reims – Chard – adds finesse and elegance; Cotes des Bar Montagne de Reims & Vallee de la Marne – Pinot Noir, backbone, aroma and structure; Vallee de la Marne – Pinot Meunier, fruit and mid palate texture
    Each village is rated for the quality of their grape. Grand Cru score 100%; Premier cru 90-99, remaining 80-89
  • Understanding Sparkling wines

    1. 1. Of the World
    2. 2.  Champagne  Cremant  Prosecco  Cava  Espumante  Sekt  D’Asti  Sparkling  Methode Champenoise (Traditional Method)  Charmat Method
    3. 3.  Hand harvested  Whole cluster press  Debourbage (settling of solids) in stainless tanks  Primary fermentation  Malolactic fermentation  Assemblage (blending)  Liqueur de Triage  Second Fermentation  Maturation  Remuage/Riddling  Stacking  Disgorging  Liqeur d’Expedition  Corking
    4. 4.  Tank method  Emphasizes the youthful, floral and primary fruit aromas _________________  Fermented normally to dry still wines. Blended as desired  Yeast and sugar are added to the tank of blended base wine  The mixture ferments under pressure, keeping the carbon dioxide dissolved in the liquid  Racked through a filter  Dosage  Bottled
    5. 5.  Follows the traditional method in the beginning  After second fermentation, bottles are emptied into a pressurized tank  Wine is filtered  Dosage added  Bottled  Step avoided is riddling and individual disgorging and dosage.
    6. 6.  Produce wines with 5-6% alcohol and sweet  Grapes pressed and allowed to ferment long enough to produce a few % of alcohol.  Wine is chilled just above freezing halting yeast activity  Racked  Later warmed up in tanks to allow the dormant yeast to begin to ferment again.  Desired level of alcohol and carbonation reached, filtered and bottled.
    7. 7.  Zones  Montagne de Reims  Cote des Blancs  Vallee de la Marne  Cote des Bar  Aisne  AOC 319 villages “echelle des crus”  17 villages Grand Cru  44 villages Premier Cru
    8. 8.  Grapes used in Champagne  Chardonnay adds adds finesse and elegance.  Grown in Montagne de Reims, Cote des Blancs  Pinot Noir – Backbone in aroma & structure  Grown in Cotes des Bar Montagne de Reims & Vallee de la Marne  Pinot Meunier- fruit and mid palate texture  Grown in Vallee de la Marne  Cru based on quality of grape  Grand Cru score 100%  Premier cru 90-99  remaining 80-89  Maturation  15 months NV  36 months or more Vintage  Autolysis – lees nuclei releases amino acids and other nutrients into the wine  Spend 8-10 months  Longer more breadier  Creates the, creamy mouth feel biscuit and toasty flavors
    9. 9.  Non Dosage – less than 3 g/l sugar  Extra Brut less than 6 g/l sugar  Brut less than 12 g/l sugar  Extra dry 12 – 17 g/l sugar  Sec 17-32 g/l slugar  Demi-Sec 32 to 50 g/l suger  Doux 50 g/l + sugar  Serving Temp between 45 - 50 degrees
    10. 10.  Sparkling wines made in other regions of France in the Traditional Method  Cremant d’Alsace – allowed varietals are Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois Blanc and Chardonnay  Cremant de Bourgogne – made in Burgundy from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Cremant de Loire – Made in the Loire Valley and Chenin Blanc is the main ingredient. Also Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Grolleau Noir  Cremant de Bordeaux – made in the Bordeaux region with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot
    11. 11.  Made from the Glera Grape  From the Veneto region. Produced in Conegliano Valdobbiadene or Colli Asolani.  Producing Processo the past 5 consecutive years or must be labeled Glera  Charmat Method
    12. 12.  Appellation in the Piedmont region  Made with 100% Moscato  Find flavors of peach and apricot  d’Asti – Frizzante  Fermenting wine is chilled and bottled after alcohol level reaches about 5%.  Results in a sweet, minimally carbonated, low alcohol wine  Asti – Spumante – full sparkling  Fermentation until alcohol level reaches between 7- 9% and bottle is 5 asmospheres  Sweet, not as sweet as d’Asti  Made in the partial fermentation method
    13. 13.  Made in the traditional method  Produced mainly in the Penedes region of Catalonia (north east Spain)  160 municipalities legally authorized to produce sparkling under the Cava name. Most of these towns are located in Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida & Girona  Spiritual heart of Cava is San Sadurni de Noya  Three classic grape varieties for Cava  Macabeo – produces dry red wines of balanced acidity and subtle aromas  Xarel-lo – Full bodied wines with a good degree of acidity. Basis for most Cava blends due to its freshness and fine aroma  Parellada – produces wines that are smooth, with moderate alcohol and delicate aroma  Bottles must be cellared min. 9 months, aging on their lees to qualify as Cava
    14. 14.  Portuguese sparkling wine  Quality Espumante produced only in DOC Bairrada (south of Vinho Verde)  Year of harvest stamped with VEQPRD  VFQPRD – Regional sparkling made in Douro, Ribatejo, Minho, Alentejo or Estremadura regions. Made traditional, charmat or transfer method  VQPRD made by traditional, charmat, transfer in injection anywhere in Portugal  Espumosos – cheapest & lowest level of sparkling wine made by injection
    15. 15.  Made in the Charmat/Tank method.  Finished sweet or semi sweet  Grapes used in production of Sekt  Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir)  Riesling  Muller-Thurgau  Grauburgunder ((Pinot Gris)  Weissburgunder(Pinot Blanc)