Thursday, March 12, 2009

Malolactic fermentation

After the alcoholic fermentation (where yeasts transform sugar into alcohol), a second fermentation is triggered, caused by bacteria also naturally present in wine : the malolactic fermentation. As its name suggests it, this fermentation transforms the malic acid (found also in other fruits such as apples) into lactic acid, less strong, which will soften the wine and thus reduce its astringency.

This fermentation is conducted in all red or white long ageing wines (because it causes the birth of new flavors) and so in Cahors Malbec wines, but ruled out in white or rosé wines to drink younger because they must keep acidity that gives them the freshness and retain their primary aromas. Finally, once the fermentation achieved, the wines are less prone to deterioration or organoleptic deviations.

Our 2008 vintage, after a cold winter and due to rising temperatures, now begins its malolactic fermentation. This will take about 3 weeks then we will make a final racking, then a sulfitation to permanently protect the bacterial attacks such as "acescence" that causes the transformation of alcohol into vinegar !

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