At the heart of the blending
The 2021 vintage of “Les Grenaches” and “Les Parcelles” will soon be bottled while the new vintage “Linium” is being aged. In this article, we invite you to travel to the heart of the blends.
The blending, a search for balance and harmony.
Blending is an important step in the wine making process. It is the way to compose a wine from different grape varieties or from different plots of the same grape variety. Depending on the characteristics of the desired wine, the objective of this step is to find the best balance and the most beautiful taste harmony while respecting the signature of the domain.
Tastings are done by grape variety and by plots
This is possible because the Domaine de Soustres harvests and vinifies its grapes by variety and by plot. This requires a large number of vats (concrete, stainless steel) and tuns (large wooden containers). At the end of the vinification process, all the containers are tasted independently, in order to establish a tasting note for each sample taken. These notes record the interesting characteristics of the wines for the blends.
Analyze, taste, accompany, the roles of the oenologist.
At this stage, each wine already has an analytical identity card produced by the DUBERNET laboratories (alcoholic degree, sugars, acids…). It follows them from the moment the grapes enter the vats until bottling, and is updated regularly to follow the evolution of the juices. The tasting by container and blending stage takes place with our oenologists, Nicolas DUTOUR and Diane ROEHRIG.
Find the right formula!
Once the tastings are done, the actual blending can begin. They consist in blending the finished wines with the help of graduated test tubes in order to determine what percentage of each vat will constitute the whole of the future vintages (for example 70% of grape variety of vat 1 with 30% of vat 4). Once the “right formula” is found (after several tastings!), it is recorded by the oenologist and the manager of the cellar, Franck PALISSER.
Moving from the test tube to the vat, the role of the cellar master.
His work has just begun! For several days, he will have to assemble the wines from the different containers to obtain the finished wines as they were decided during the blending session. It is a step that requires precision and know-how, to respect the percentage instructions but also to handle the wines with delicacy during the racking so that they do not oxidize.
The blended wines are kept in their final containers until they are bottled, under regular analytical and organoleptic supervision.