Monday, June 20, 2011

Here’s our new J Brut Rosé in a clear bottle with a sexy black J! Look for it at J Vineyards & Winery or your favorite retailer or restaurant this holiday season!

The new J Brut Rosé video shows the bottles going through the inspection light to ensure all the bottles are in perfect condition.  Prior to the inspection light, the bottles were disgorged.  Following the inspection the bottles will have the foils added to the top and neck of the bottle and allowed to rest for another 3-6 months before release.

Do you know how sparkling wine is made?  Here is a brief overview of J sparkling wine production from the vineyard to the bottle:

Harvest & Vineyards
All grapes for our J sparkling wines are hand-harvested into small quarter ton bins and placed as whole clusters, without destemming, into our special Coquard press for a gentle pressing cycle.  The grapes for our J sparkling wines were selected from J’s Estate Vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Our vineyards yield a balanced crop of clean, flavorful grapes that exhibit bright, lush aromas. 

 What makes the Coquard so special? No need to rotate the press as it operates like a basket, less production of solids and phenolic extraction, less processing on the front end, producing higher quality juice.

All vineyard lots are kept separate as are cuvée and taille fractions.  Cuvée is the “free-run” juice, highest quality, most flavors, acid, and best balance.  Taille is the “press” juice, good structure but requires higher psi for yield.   All juice is fermented at cool temperatures (~ 60oF) to preserve fruit and aromatics.

Assemblage (blending)
Each lot is evaluated and the cuvées are blended to the highest standards.

Filter + Sugar + Yeast
Once the blends are made the wine is filtered, and a small amount of sugar is added for the secondary fermentation. After secondary fermentation in the bottle, the wine ages for an average of 36 months in our cool cellars. The day of bottling, yeast is added and the bottles are secured with a bidule, a small plastic cup that fits in the bottle's neck and into which the sediment eventually settles.  A crown cap secures the closure.

The bottled wine is stored in a cool warehouse, on its side, where the second fermentation completes in about six weeks.  By conducting the second fermentation in a sealed vessel, this captures the CO2 which is a normal by-product of fermentation (YEAST + SUGAR = CO2 + EtOH), giving sparkling wine its bubbles!  The rest of the time on tirage is spent aging - allowing the yeast to breakdown and adds complexity to the wine that enhance bouquet, flavors, and mouthfeel. Longer tirage time also means smaller bubbles.

The bottles are transferred to our riddling racks where they go through a series of twists and turns to collect all the yeast cells and sediment into the neck of the bottle.

After riddling, the bottles “rest” for a period of 1-3 months neck down in a cold room. This allows the yeast cells to compact, and by keeping the wine cool its easier to disgorge. The neck of the bottle is frozen, freezing the yeast so when the crown cap is removed, the frozen yeast is blown out by the pressure from the second fermentation, clarifying the wine of any sediment. A small amount of dosage (reserve wine + sugar) is added back to the wine for balance.The bottle is then corked with a wire cap, foiled, and allowed to rest for another 3-6 months before release.

Enjoy J!
J Vineyards & Winery
11447 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707.431.5400 - Main
707.431.3646 - Vistor Center

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