Wine aged on its lees.

Unctuosity, aromatic intensity, density… Surely we won’t be wrong if we affirm that most of our readers prefers wines that are similar to what we have just mentioned. These are some of the attributes that are typically found in wine aged on its lees.

In today’s post we want to delve deeper and explore this method of winemaking. Today we ask ourselves what are some of the characteristics that are produced through this process, and how does it affect the end result. Additionally, we are going to give you 4 examples of wine aged on its lees (2 whites & 2 reds) that I´m sure you will love. Let’s start!

 

pinot-noirPinot Noir during the fermentation process. Image by Stefano Lubiana

Before exploring the virtues of wine aged on its lees, it is worth clearing up what exactly the lees are.

Lees are microorganisms, yeast that is involved in fermenting the wine, in the most part, once the fermentation process has finished, the yeast die, decompose, and sink to the bottom of either the fermentation tank or the barrel.

Normally the lees are separated from the wine before starting the ageing process, however, another option is to leave them in contact with the wine for a longer period of time. In this case, this is known as ageing the wine on its lees.

This process provides the wine with certain properties, such as better balance, unctuosity, and fuller, more persistent aromas. To achieve an even distribution of the yeast compounds or lees. The wine needs to be stirred regularly, by means of a utensil, normally in the shape of a stick, in the case that the wine is placed in barrels, the traditional battonage (stir)  method is preferred. If the wine is in the vats or containers a technique called remontage (pump over) is used.

Would you like to know the virtues of wine aged on its lees? Here are some recommendations:

Doumia 2011.  One of our favourite red wines from the appellation of origin (D.O) Rías Baixas (Yes, we said red wine) Doumia 2011 is an original blend of Mencía (70%), Caíño Tinto (20%) and  Espadeiro (10%) originating from very low yielding vineyards, aged for 12 months in steel on its own lees. Elegant and rustic. A very special wine, a reflection of its homeland.

Auzells 2014. Since the appellation of origin (D.O) Costers del Segre, and also under the technical direction of a true great, Tomás Cusiné, arrived in Auzells.  The wine has a blend of up to 7 different varieties that have been aged for 3 months on their lees.  The nose shows the wine to be complex, intense and potent. Wide and moreish. A suggestion to always keep in mind.

Nisia 2013. We are now going to travel to Rueda to showcase this fine, unctuous wine that has spent the best part of 4 months on its lees and what the best part is, it’s 100% Verdejo, produced by Jorge Ordoñez, who is one of the best names in Spanish wine. This is without doubt one of the best wines based on the quality-price ratio from Rueda. A great wine!

Tarima Orgánico 2012.  Without having all this planned, we close this list of recommendations with another wine from Jorge ordoñez. On this occasion, we travel to (D.O) Alicante to highlight the excellent oenological work of Tarima Orgánico 2012. This wine is 100% Monastrell, originating from organic vineyards that gives us a lot more than it costs.

What are you waiting for? Go on, you are going to love them!

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