2014 Blanc de Blanc
Brix at harvest: 19.8
Harvest date: 8/6/2014
Aging treatment: 36 months sur tirage
The grapes were harvested at 18 brix then gently pressed into steel tank for settling. This creates a juice that is highly acidic and not very sweet just right for sparkling wine. The juice is cold settled and racked into a second tank for primary fermentation which removes all the sugar and leaves a base wine with about 10.2% alcohol.
Initial Bottling: Secondary Yeast Fermentation
This base wine is then bottled and a “liquer de tirage”is added including 25.2 grams of sugar, Prise de mousse yeast and a special riddling agent to help aide in the removal of the spent yeast after the fermentation. The wine goes through a secondary yeast fermentation under a crown cap which captures the carbon dioxide in the bottle “adding the stars” to the wine and making it effervescent as well as raising the level of percent alcohol. This is known as Methode Champenoise..
Aging “Sur Tirage”:
The bottles are aged on their side for 3 years before disgorgement allowing the autolysis of the yeast to create a baked bread, burnt almond creaminess which add aroma and a complex mouthfeel.
Riddling takes place at the end of the aging when the correct complexity has been achieved. The bottles are placed neck down and each one is lifted, turned and dropped to move the yeast lees and settling agent into the mouth of the bottle. It is “jostled” in this way, by hand, 2 to 3 times per day for 6 weeks.
The first inch of the neck of the bottle is frozen solid on a bed of dry ice and the crown cap removed. The frozen plug of wine and yeast lees is forcefully ejected and a final dosing of sweetening is instilled. For the “sauvage” style of Brut no sugar is added. The base wine is added to bring the level to 750 ml and to create an elegant Brut style wine.