06 Winemaking in the Rhone Valley

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  1. How do producers differentiate their wines given the AOC restrictions?
    • Picking decisions
    • Cellar philosophies
    • Winemaking techniques
  2. Describe white wine production in the Rhone Valley
    • Crush is optional
    • Pressed to separate juice from skins, stems, seeds
    • Juice settling to remove particulate matter
    • Add yeasts (usually cultured) and ferment into wine
  3. What are concrete vats called?
  4. What are large inert oak barrels called?
  5. What are stainless steel tanks called?
  6. What does futs de chene mean?
    oak barrel
  7. What does beton mean?
  8. What vessels are used for fermentation and why
    • Usually inox but sometimes the traditional cuves or foudres
    • Temperature control to preserve aromas and prevent oxidation
    • Cool fermentation (15°-20°C, 59°-68°F) for 12-15 days has become standard practice
  9. Is malolactic fermentation practiced for Rhone white wine?
    • Some producers avoid it to maintain acidity
    • Not for VDN because they need acidity to balance residual sugar
    • More widely practiced in the North if wine is fermented in barrel
  10. T or F? Most Rhone white wines are intended to be consumed within 2-4 years of release
  11. Are Rhone white wines aged in oak?
    • A few
    • Hermitage whites are typically oaked and are known for their longevity
    • Condrieu is usually oaked but is *not* usually cellared for many years
  12. Why is the fermentation temperature for VDNs lowered?
    Slower fermentation gives winemaker more control for mutage
  13. Describe red wine production in the Rhone Valley
    • Destemmed and crushed grapes are "cold soaked" (5°-15°C, 41°-59°F) for 3-6 days to extract fruit aromas; this technique (called maceration prefermentaire a froid) is becoming more popular
    • Fermentation lasts 7-15 days, but can last up to 20 days; occasionally, skins are left in contact with the wine for 1-2 weeks after fermentation
    • Free-run wine (vin de goutte) is racked and the remaining liquid is pressed (vin de presse)
  14. Is vin de goutte and vin de presse combined?
  15. Are grapes destemmed?
    • Usually because stems absorb acids and sugars and contain water that can dilute the must and have tannins that cause astingency
    • Traditionalists may retain some or all of the stems depending on the years
  16. T or F? Grapes in the Southern Rhone are co-planted, co-harvested, and co-fermented
    • Common in pre-phylloxera times, but not today because each variety ripens at different times
    • However, many producers still co-ferment to achieve greater complexity
  17. Give 3 examples of why cofermentation may be beneficial
    • Grenache (high alcohol) permits better color extraction from Syrah and Mourvedre
    • Grenache (late-ripening, oxidative) balances Syrah (early-ripening, reductive)
    • Grenache and Cinsault gains a velvet texture
  18. Is malolactic fermentation practiced for Rhone red wine?
    Almost always as it stabilizes the wine and adds complexity with age
  19. T or F? Wines in the Southern Rhone are typically blended
  20. T or F? Whether co-fermenting or not, the earlier the final blend is crafted, the better the wine
  21. Why are parcels of young vines fermented separately from older vines?
    Coops/producers can create more distinguished bottlings (e.g., vieilles vignes or proprietary cuvees)
  22. Are red Rhone wines aged in new small oak barrels?
    • Very unusual in Sothern Rhone since Grenache oxidizes easily. Most are aged in beton, inox, or foudres.
    • However, many Cote-Rotie, Hermitage, and Cornas (and presige cuvees of Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage) now age Syrah in small oak barrels, some of which may be new. Similarly, special lots of Syrah in CDP may be aged in small oak barrels before being added to the final blend.
  23. Describe CDP special cuvees
    • Limited production with focus on special parcel, blend, single variety, or vinified differently (e.g., more new oak)
    • Reserve des Celestins was the first (1927 by Henri Bonneau)
    • Became a trend in 1980s but most started after 2000; currentlyl over 180
  24. Why might CDP special cuvees not be a good idea?
    Cuvees de prestige may impoverish the quality of the ordinary cuvee
  25. Name 3 estates that are opposed to CDP special cuvees
    • Clos des Papes
    • Vieux Telegraph
    • Rayas
  26. What are the primary grapes used to make rose in the Southern Rhone?
    Grenache Noir and Cinsault
  27. What does oeil de perdrix ("partridge eye") refer to?
    • Deep salmon color of Southern Rhone roses
    • Also more structured than roses from Provence or Loire
  28. Describe the saignee ("bleeding") method of making rose wine in the Southern Rhone
    • Made like red wine but maceration lasts only 4-12 hours, not 4-12 days
    • Avoids malolactic fermentation to preserve acidity
    • The skins, seeds, and remaining liquid may be pressed (and added to bleed juice before fermentation) or remain in the tank and be vinified as red wine (which will be more tannic, pigmented, and concentrated)
    • After a period of juice-settling, yeasts are added, and fermentation is initiated without the presence of skins
  29. Should rose wines be aged?
    No, they are to be consumed when fresh

Card Set Information

06 Winemaking in the Rhone Valley
2017-09-04 19:21:59

Wine Scholar Guild Rhone Master Level Program
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