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 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 117, April 2013   
Wine Making Technology and TastingWine Making Technology and Tasting Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 116, March 2013 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 118, May 2013

Wine Making Technology and Tasting

Technology, the application of a technique and a method, allows the production of wines of higher quality while unavoidably affecting its sensorial characteristics

 Technique and technology in vineyard and in winery are subjects that since a long time - since some decades, maybe since ever - start the fire on wine lovers and producers debates. For some both technique and technology are to be considered as the absolute negation of wine and its capability of expression, frequently associated, with disregard, to the concept of adulteration and to the worst industrialization of wine. On the contrary, some consider technology in a more pragmatic way, recognizing to it the basis of knowledge and wine making progress, a scientific and critical way in order to improve wine quality while limiting, or by completely removing, the risks of the formation of faults and negative factors. Any method or principle applied to the work of man can be defined as technique, also in those contexts in which this term is widely criticized.


 

 According to an etymological point of view, the word “technique” definitely has a noble origin. It comes from the Greek téchne meaning art, that is the capability of man to do things by a conscious application and use of rules allowing the realization of an activity, both of practical nature as well as of intellectual nature. In other words, it defines the capability and the expression of man's talent in every context in which he interacts, including nature, including wine. Also the word technology comes from Greek and precisely from the word téchne to which is added logos, meaning discourse, therefore its meaning is “thematic exposition of an art”. Technology, in its wider sense, is the definition of rules and methods scientifically and artistically making a subject, by allowing not only its understanding but also the conscious application and use.

 The 1900 has undoubtedly been the century which mainly contributed to wine making technology. In fact, thanks to the use of technique and knowledge, which progress and science discovered also in other contexts, the phenomena taking place during wine production, as well as their interactions, have been understood in a scientifically and methodical way. This extraordinary journey begins after 1850, when the great French scientist Louis Pasteur - between 1861 and 1862 - for the first time explains and in a scientifically way, the process of alcoholic fermentation by identifying the activity of yeast. His fundamental studies on microbiology have also allowed the understanding of the reasons and remedies to many of the faults happening in wine. For the sake of completeness, it should also be mentioned the great contribution of Louis Pasteur on beer production, whom studies and the application of the very same discoveries, have allowed him to explain chemical, physical and biological phenomena of wine making.

 Before Louis Pasteur's discoveries, wine production was mainly made by the application of empirical methods and traditionally reliable from a wine making point of view, fruit of experiences and observation of the past. These methods were in fact applied in function of their “historical” and proved results, however they did not know, or did not completely know, the principles determining their efficiency on wine. It should be considered, for example, the word “fermentation”, coming from Latin fervere, meaning “to boil”, therefore, in past times, “fermentation” was considered as a sort of “boiling”. The reason comes from the observation of the must during fermentation which recalled the tumult of boiling water, a concept also strengthened by the fact this process also increases the temperature of the must. Today we know, also thanks to Louis Pasteur, the must does not boil at all and the tumult is the result of yeast's biological activity. However, in some parts of Italy, the alcoholic fermentation is still defined as a “boiling”, precisely, it is said the “must is boiling”.


Cask is one of the many tools used in wine
making technology. When it is not properly used, it can distort the character of
a wine
Cask is one of the many tools used in wine making technology. When it is not properly used, it can distort the character of a wine

 Wine undoubtedly is the product of technique, expression of the talent and art of man with the fundamental and irreplaceable help of Nature and environment. Without technique, without knowing the wine making and viticultural methods, of every nature and form, wine could not exist, likewise, nothing of the expression of man's talent could not exist as well. Even those romantic and traditional practices, which are usually associated to natural practices, are the result of techniques and their application. Every time man interacts with natural processes, from vineyard to bottle, he is simply using a method and a technique, of scientific or empirical nature, it makes no difference. The discriminating factor, of course, is how the technique is being used, the borderline between the reasonable and meaningful use and the abuse. A concept valid for everything with no exception: it is the use and abuse to define goodness, honesty and decency of things, thoughts and behaviors.

 While noticing, in any way, wine does not exist in nature and it is the result of the fundamental intervention of man, by interacting with Nature and environment, every technique used for the production of the nectar of Bacchus affects the organoleptic profile of wine. From wine appearance to the sensation which can be perceived in the mouth after swallowing, the measure and mode of technical intervention from man have the property of shaping every single sensorial aspect of wine. How the vineyard is cultivated, how the vine is pruned, how grape is crushed and how the must is fermented, how the wine is racked and bottled, how the wine is served, are all examples of the use of techniques which unavoidably affects the organoleptic qualities of wine and how they are being perceived by the organs of sense. It could be mistakenly believed wine is just technique and this would be absolutely wrong. Wine is not technique only: it mainly is the result of the sensitivity, morality, honesty, culture and fairness of a producer and how he uses every single technique in the respect of Nature, vineyard and environment.

 Technique is the tool used by man to interact with the processes of cultivation of vine and the production of wine. Technique, in fact, gives the essential tools allowing the prevention of vine diseases and their development, as well as providing a cure for wine faults. Nature, of course, plays an irreplaceable and unrepeatable role, however it is the technique allowing its expression through wine. Every technique, in fact, has the property of shaping wine into a specific style or expression and, despite many of them are fundamental for wine stabilization, they unavoidably end up modifying the organoleptic profile. Defining the border between use and abuse of a technique is extremely difficult and useless, as this is strongly associated to the philosophy and belief of produces and consumers. For example, the use of the so called selected yeast is considered by some a sound practice to get a quality wine, for others it is seen, not only as the opposed expression, but also as a sign of adulteration and standardization.

 Yeast, there is no doubt about this, strongly contributes to the organoleptic characteristics of wine and, no matter are being used selected yeast or the ones naturally found in grape skins, their activity is strongly affected by technical factors taking place in the winery. As it is commonly known, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is the yeast species mainly responsible for alcoholic fermentation of wine. It is not the only species, of course, but it is the one to be mainly favored during alcoholic fermentation. The result of fermentation is the product of the work of many species, in particular in case the producer decides not to use selected yeast which are exclusively made from Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. This yeast species is naturally found in grape skins, as well as in the air, just like any other yeast species. One of the technical factors determining the activity of yeast, of any species, is temperature. Temperature control, a technique widely used in wine making, both by natural producers as well as by wine industry, has the property of strongly affecting the activity of yeast, while working - as a matter of fact - a selection, therefore shaping the organoleptic profile of a wine towards a specific character.

 Sulfur dioxide, widely used not only in wine making but also in food industry, is another element strongly criticized in the world of wine. While noticing this chemical element is naturally produced during alcoholic fermentation - in a variable quantity from 6 to 40mg per liter, according to the type of yeast and wine making conditions - it should also be noticed the excess can be cause of health disorders. Sulfur dioxide in wine however offers undeniable benefits, also according to a sensorial point of view. It should in fact be noticed sulfur dioxide, besides offering a good protection to wine, making it more stable, used in right quantity favors the expression of wine aromas. Like already said, the excess of sulfur dioxide can cause health disorders, in particular in subjects sensitive to this substance, it however affects the wine with an evident smell of sulfur, something which can also completely destroy both olfactory and gustatory quality.

 Obviously there is an undeniable and substantial difference between use and abuse, between honesty and dishonesty, it should however be noticed that, technically speaking, a wine can be corrected and, in a certain way, shaped according to a desired style. In the winery, a wine can be corrected on every organoleptic aspect, from appearance to taste, there is no wine making aspect which cannot be changed. It should be said, for the sake of truth, although in a winery can be frequently made miracles, it is however undeniable from quality grape it is very easy to make a great wine: in this case the intervention of man and technology can, in some cases, destroy and abuse the wonderful matter offered by Mother Nature. The abuse of technology can however be useful in case of grape of mediocre or bad quality: despite it is not however possible, in this case, to get a great wine, it is possible to greatly improve it and to make it better than what it could not be.

 Acidity and astringency, for example, can be corrected in the winery both in case of deficiency as well as in case of excess. Moreover, also the deficiency of sugar in the must can be corrected, either by adding a concentrated must (in some countries, but not in Italy, it is also permitted the adding of table sugar) as well as by removing the excess, which could bring to an excessive production of alcohol. For the sake of completeness, it must be said this correction are permitted by law, therefore - at least from a legal point of view - they cannot be considered as adulteration but as enological corrective practices. In every case, this kind of interventions substantially affect the organoleptic qualities of wine, as well as balance and perception of each stimulus. By using this kind of correction, it is possible to completely change the nature and character of a wine. It could be considered as a sort of “make up” in order to hide imperfections and deficiencies, frequently result of a wrong viticulture or however not respectful for vineyard and environment, or in case of particularly unfavorable vintages.

 The same principle is applied to the use of cask and wood containers. While saying the cask is a precious tool for wine production, its abuse, or better to say, its wrong use, has the capability of distorting the organoleptic qualities of a wine. It must be said not all the grapes, not all the territories, are suited for the use of cask or certain types of casks. First of all, wine must have been produced with the aim of standing to the aging in cask, a choice which is strongly affected by viticultural practices and grape varieties. Filtering - a mechanical operation allowing the removal of solid substances, also in order to avoid sediments in the bottle, not always liked by consumers - if it is true it gives a more biologically stable wine and with an impeccable appearance, it can affect organoleptic qualities. Filtering, according to its “rigour”, as a matter of fact, strips some substances off the wine and which could represent a characterizing factor, both in aromas as well as in taste.

 






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 117, April 2013   
Wine Making Technology and TastingWine Making Technology and Tasting Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 116, March 2013 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 118, May 2013

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Langhe Rosso 2009, Mossio (Piedmont, Italy)
Langhe Rosso 2009
Mossio (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Barbera (40%), Nebbiolo (40%), Dolcetto (20%)
Price: € 15.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Langhe Rosso shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, raspberry, tobacco, chocolate, dried rose, mace and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry. This Langhe Rosso ages for 12 months in cask.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Dolcetto d'Alba Bricco Caramelli 2011, Mossio (Piedmont, Italy)
Dolcetto d'Alba Bricco Caramelli 2011
Mossio (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Dolcetto
Price: € 11.50 Score:
Dolcetto d'Alba Bricco Caramelli shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of purple red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of cherry, blackberry and plum followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, strawberry, cyclamen, blueberry, peach, almond, geranium and anise. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of cherry, plum and blackberry. Dolcetto d'Alba Bricco Caramelli ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Cold cuts, Pasta with meat and mushrooms, Roasted white meat, Sauteed meat



Arquata Rosso 2006, Adanti (Umbria, Italy)
Arquata Rosso 2006
Adanti (Umbria, Italy)
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (40%), Barbera (20%)
Price: € 13.50 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Arquata Rosso shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, black currant and dried violet followed by aromas of blueberry, plum, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, cinnamon, mace and eucalyptus. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, black currant and plum. Arquata Rosso ages in cask and barrique for 24 months followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Sagrantino di Montefalco Il Domenico 2006, Adanti (Umbria, Italy)
Sagrantino di Montefalco Il Domenico 2006
Adanti (Umbria, Italy)
Grapes: Sagrantino
Price: € 27.00 Score:
Sagrantino di Montefalco Il Domenico shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of blackberry, plum and black cherry followed by aromas of violet, blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, mace, leather, pink pepper and menthol. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is very persistent with long flavors of blackberry, plum and black cherry. Sagrantino di Montefalco Il Domenico ages for 30 months in cask followed by 24 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Merlot 2005, Castello delle Regine (Umbria, Italy)
Merlot 2005
Castello delle Regine (Umbria, Italy)
Grapes: Merlot
Price: € 33.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
This Merlot shows a deep ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black currant, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of blueberry, violet, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, tobacco, mace, pink pepper and eucalyptus. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness. The finish is persistent with flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum. This Merlot ages in barrique for 12 months followed by 24 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Stewed and braised meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Selezione del Fondatore 2004, Castello delle Regine (Umbria, Italy)
Selezione del Fondatore 2004
Castello delle Regine (Umbria, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese Grosso
Price: € 22.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Selezione del Fondatore shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas that start with hints of black cherry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, cinnamon, leather, mace and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of 18 months in barrique followed by 36 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Metodo Classico P.Nero Rosé Extra Brut 2010, La Fusina (Piedmont, Italy)
Metodo Classico P.Nero Rosé Extra Brut 2010
La Fusina (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Pinot Nero
Price: € 18.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Metodo Classico P.Nero Rosé Extra Brut shows a pale cherry pink color and nuances of cherry pink, transparent, fine and persistent perlage. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of cherry, raspberry and strawberry followed by aromas of apple, yeast, tangerine and cyclamen. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp and effervescent attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, pink and strawberry. Metodo Classico P.Nero Rosé Extra Brut referments in bottle on its lees for more than 9 months.
Food Match: Pasta and risotto with mushrooms and fish, Sauteed white meat, Dairy products



Dogliani Superiore Cavagné 2010, La Fusina (Piedmont, Italy)
Dogliani Superiore Cavagné 2010
La Fusina (Piedmont, Italy)
Grapes: Dolcetto
Price: € 10.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Dogliani Superiore Cavagné shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas that start with hints of cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of raspberry, blueberry, geranium and blackberry. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry. Dogliani Superiore Cavagné ages for 12 months in steel tanks followed by 6 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Sauteed meat with mushrooms, Broiled meat and barbecue



Rosso di Montalcino 2010, Mastrojanni (Tuscany, Italy)
Rosso di Montalcino 2010
Mastrojanni (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 15.00 Score:
This Rosso di Montalcino shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, raspberry, vanilla, geranium, carob and cyclamen. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness and roundness. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry. This Rosso di Montalcino ages in cask for 7 months followed by 3 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat



Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Loreto 2007, Mastrojanni (Tuscany, Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Loreto 2007
Mastrojanni (Tuscany, Italy)
Grapes: Sangiovese
Price: € 45.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Loreto shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of brick red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, vanilla, cocoa, licorice, mace, cinnamon, tobacco and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry. Brunello di Montalcino Vigna Loreto ages for 36 months in cask followed by 8 months of aging in bottle.
Food Match: Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Lambrusco Brut, Lusvardi (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco Brut
Lusvardi (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Grapes: Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Grasparossa
Price: € 8.00 Score:
This Lambrusco Brut shows a brilliant ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency, fine and persistent perlage. The nose denotes intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of cherry, plum and blueberry followed by aromas of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry and violet. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, an effervescent and properly tannic attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, plum and blueberry. Lambrusco Brut ferments in closed tank.
Food Match: Cold cuts, Pasta and risotto with meat, Sauteed white meat, Dairy products



Lambrusco Grato, Lusvardi (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco Grato
Lusvardi (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Grapes: Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Grasparossa
Price: € 9.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category
Lambrusco Grato shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency, fine and persistent perlage. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of cherry, blackberry and plum followed by aromas of raspberry, yeast, violet, rose and strawberry. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic and effervescent attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, blackberry and plum. Lambrusco Grato referments in bottle on its lees and it is not disgorged.
Food Match: Stuffed pasta, Sauteed meat, Cheese



Valpolicella Ripasso Col de la Bastia 2009, Fattori (Veneto, Italy)
Valpolicella Ripasso Col de la Bastia 2009
Fattori (Veneto, Italy)
Grapes: Corvina (65%), Corvinone (15%), Rondinella (10%), Altre Uve (10%)
Price: € 28.00 Score:
Valpolicella Ripasso Col de la Bastia shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of ruby red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing and refined aromas which start with hints of black cherry, blackberry and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, plum, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, mace, cinnamon and menthol. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum. Valpolicella Ripasso Col de la Bastia ages in cask.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat with mushrooms, Broiled meat and barbecue



Amarone della Valpolicella 2007, Fattori (Veneto, Italy)
Amarone della Valpolicella 2007
Fattori (Veneto, Italy)
Grapes: Corvina (65%), Corvinone (15%), Rondinella (10%), Altre Uve (10%)
Price: € 50.00 Score:
This Amarone della Valpolicella shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, little transparency. The nose reveals intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant aromas which start with hints of blackberry, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, cinnamon, mace, leather and menthol. The mouth has excellent correspondence to the nose, a tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness. The finish very persistent with long flavors of blackberry, plum and black cherry. This Amarone della Valpolicella ages for 36 months in cask.
Food Match: Game, Braised and stewed meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Inzolia 2012, Cantine Barbera (Sicily, Italy)
Inzolia 2012
Cantine Barbera (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Inzolia
Price: € 7.00 Score:
This Inzolia shows a brilliant greenish yellow color and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas that start with hints of pear, peach and pineapple followed by aromas of apple, broom and plum. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, pear and peach. This Inzolia ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Fried fish, Risotto with fish, Sauteed fish



La Bambina 2012, Cantine Barbera (Sicily, Italy)
La Bambina 2012
Cantine Barbera (Sicily, Italy)
Grapes: Nero d'Avola
Price: € 7.00 Score:
La Bambina shows a brilliant onion skin pink and nuances of onion skin pink, transparent. The nose denotes intense, clean and pleasing aromas that start with hints of cherry, raspberry and blackberry followed by aromas of strawberry, cyclamen and plum. The mouth has good correspondence to the nose, a crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable. The finish is persistent with flavors of cherry, raspberry and blackberry. La Bambina ages in steel tanks.
Food Match: Meat and fish appetizers, Pasta with fish, Sauteed meat, Stewed fish






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 117, April 2013   
Wine Making Technology and TastingWine Making Technology and Tasting Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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