What are the trends in the New World related to deep red, full-bodied wines?
Today’s more rational, intelligent approach to viticulture is responsible for the deeper colour and fuller body of New World wines. Sunnier climes allow the grapes to ripen fully, yielding more than 220 g/l of sugar, and permit higher rates of photosynthesis and accumulation of anthocyanins, tannins and aromatic precursors.
This rational approach to viticulture has also been applied in many parts of the Old World, where some remarkable wines have been achieved, such as Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Toro and La Mancha wines from Spain, Sicilian wine from Italy, Languedoc wine from France and Bulgarian wine.
In Chile and Argentina, grapes are grown at higher altitudes than almost anywhere else in the world, endowing them with greater body that can be used to create the exceptional red wines enjoyed by consumers worldwide. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Syrah and even Bonarda in Argentina are among the most expressive varieties used to achieve this style of full-bodied, intensely fruity, deep red (almost black) wines. However, in wines with a high phenolic content, care must be taken not to lose the qualities of harmony, complexity, elegance and balance.
What do you recommend winemakers to be watchful to?
Many deep red wines may be pleasing to the eye but conceal phenolic defects, being astringent and chemical, with a nose of cloves and a bitter, dry finish in the mouth that rather than inviting another sip, may even require water to refresh the mouth. One should never lose sight of equilibrium and balance. In order to achieve harmonious, complex and “elegant” wines, it is crucial to know the best time to harvest, use optimal wine-making procedures and work with the strain of yeast best suited to the production goal, controlling and correcting its nutritional needs to enable it to reach its fullest potential.
MANY DEEP RED WINES MAY BE PLEASING TO THE EYE BUT ONE SHOULD NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF EQUILIBRIUM AND BALANCE.
Do consumers like wines with a little structure?
Winemaking technology has provided tools for working with raw materials that for various reasons (climatic or economic) do not attain an optimal state for the production of medium- or high-quality wines. Techniques such as controlled hyperoxidation in white musts or flash extraction in red varieties “standardise” the quality of the must, enabling them to serve as a basis for obtaining the quality wines that consumers enjoy.
In this respect, the strain of yeast used for fermentation, the type of nutrition and the combination and orchestration of specific functional yeast-derived products are all essential to elevate the structure of a wine with a low tannin content and obtain a level of fruitiness that renders these products very easy to drink and widely appreciated by a large segment of the market.
How do you -Fermentis- help to obtain distinctive wines?
Investment in research, development and innovation (R+D+i) lies at the heart of Fermentis, and every year we create more and better tools that help winegrowers to achieve rational production. Our goal is to share everything we know about yeasts and their characteristics so that winemakers can decide on the best way to achieve their goals. Our E2U™ range improves the production conditions of active dry yeasts, reducing the time and costs involved in traditional rehydration; in addition, we explain the characteristics and contribution of each nutrient compound and identify the most suitable yeast derivatives for creating wines with a complex structure.