Hello my dear friends, it’s been a while. 2020 was a tough year for us all, and definitely testing for me. But have I given up on wine? Definitely not – far from it!
One silver lining of 2020 was that it turned out to be a great vintage, with a relatively mild spring and a moderate summer which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and fully, developing beautiful floral and fruit aromas while keeping enough acidity to create a crisp sparkling.
This made an auspicious start for our new and exciting project, albeit now doing it in the “New Normal” of Zoom.
Here we have samples from various tanks of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Some from different pressings, some from different plots – all remarkably different. The first pressing, or Cuveé, contains the juice from the flesh of the grape – provides the acidity, elegance and subtle floral aromas. Second pressings, or Taille, which extracts more of the skins of the grapes, provides the character and beautiful colour, but also astringency and lower acidity if used too much. The right balance is needed to produce a wine that is crisp, clean but also have complexity. For a sparkling wine, it’s all about a crispness, purity and bright finish.
A few percent here and there of even the same varietal makes a surprisingly big contrast. So with the blend finalised, it’s now going to be bottled for its second fermentation to really bring it to life! Yes, with any Traditional Method process, it’s going to take patience, but its journey filled with excitement and hope.
The more I experience winemaking and the science behind it, the more I believe it’s an art. Let’s hope this wine is one good thing to remember 2020 by.