The Sleep of the Just
Part 3 – Vinification and lees aging
The grapes are pressed. What is going to make the difference between the grape juice and wine .
Once our must is freshly pressed, to avoid any oxidation, we let the juice settle at cool temperature. The oxidation is caused by the attack of oxygen and provokes the loss of aromas and browning of the color.
The settling is the action of letting the gravity makes its job: All the non-desirables elements in the must such as piece of skins or leaves will fall by gravity at the bottom of the tank. We just need to wait for 24 hours at cool temperatures around 4-8°C and then rack all the gross lees out. We will also let the fine lees in contact with the must for a week before starting the fermentation. This will allow us to get more aromas and more concentration in our final wine.
Then, we make a racking and keep our clear juice in order to start the fermentation of the M-G Grande Cuvée. We keep voluntarily the temperatures relatively low during the fermentation by targeting the 15°C. This is the ideal temperature for the researched profile. If we ferment it too low, we may have aromas such as peardrop and bananas. We want to show you the personality of each of the grapes we use in our blend thus, we don’t want to mask their identity through temperature of fermentation that would hide this varietal profile and lose the complexity of our wines.
Ageing on the lees, or the sleep of the just
A wine aged on the lees will get some unique characteristics that we are looking for at Maison Gutowski. The dead yeasts resting at the bottom of the tank are called lees once they are not fermenting the must anymore. They have unique properties. Their cells walls is made of mannoproteins that will release a fat character and a creamy texture to our rosé once they start self-destroying themselves. The wine will get smoother, richer and have a more lingering finish. We are not stirring the lees. We could put them back in suspension in the wine but we would possibly hide the brisk acidity that gives us freshness, essential to the balance of our Rosé. The resulting wine will be more elegant and precise.