After 20 days on skins, it was time to get the wine out of the wooden fermenting tank and into a press. I decided to press earlier than I may have done in a perfect world but I wanted to preserve the fine tannins that I had extracted during fermentation without having the wine being distracted by firmer tannins that come from leaving the wine on skins for a longer period of time. In another year, but that is not what Bacchus brought this year, and one must endeavour to highlight the best qualities of the vintage which for me this year is fresh flavours and fine tannins.
The most delicate pressing is one done vertically as it doesn’t rip the skins or crush the seeds. The downside is that you don’t get as much wine as you may do with a pneumatic press which you can rotate and thus get rid of any hidden pockets of wine.
Thanks to my great mate, Ray Walker of Maison Ilan, I was able to borrow his ancient wooden basket press made by the house of E. Cherreau — from what the local winemakers in Savigny-lès-Beaune tell me was the best producer of pressoirs and foudres at the time. It took a lot of effort — at one stage there were five of us pushing the handle around — but the results were well worth it as you can see below: —
The mouthfeel of the press wine from the lies (dead yeast cells, mainly) and the greater tannin extraction was spectacular and will make a great foil to the delicacy of the wine that ran free from the tank.
Running the free run wine off (the wine that comes easily off the skins without need for pressing—about 80% of the total amount) was drained in 15 minutes. Putting together the press, digging all of the skins out of the tank, pressing the skins and then cleaning up took us another 8 hours for only a barrel of wine. What love went into this cuvée!
Using a hundred year old press sure was a lot of fun and definitely reinforced my growing reputation in Savigny-lès-Beaune as l’êtranger con (crazy foreigner or idiot foreigner depending on how kind you are being to yourself that day) as we had a steady stream of wine makers visiting all day as the word got out around the village.
Check out the slideshow for more of the fun we got up to: —
fellow new worlders in burgundypar mark haisma
former winemaker at yarra yering and fellow australian making cracking côte de nuits
ray walker, finance industry drop out, with delicate premier cru and grand cru côte de nuits
american and fellow savigny-lès-beaune producer
domaine david clark
former formula engineer turned vine-hound
mischief & mayhem
fiona + michael ragg craft wines from up and down the golden spike in aloxe-corton. their 2009 whites are pretty special.
chris newman + jane eyre making villages, premier cru and grand cru from up and down the côte d'or.
former hollywood producer mark tarlov's aim to rival burgundy in oregon and california comes home to the motherland.
Savigny-lès-Beaune WeatherThe location could not be found.
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