Maceration and Tannins

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In the years prior to 1980, every winemaker produced Barolo in nearly the same way: 2-3 months of macerating and splinting, where the marc cap was pushed and pressed against the liquid with wooden planks. It produced particularly bitter tannic wines that could only be appreciated after 20 years or so. From the 80s to the 00s, technology and the wine industry created products which, when added to wine, sped up the time needed for softening Barolo tannins. Furthermore, the higher fermentation temperatures, shorter maceration time, and use of barriques create a balanced whole, seasoning the famous king of wines.

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Maceration is the fundamental process in the creation and transformation of must into red wine, especially if we speak about Barolo nebbiolos. For almost a decade we have used a system that is very similar to tradition, applying simple but functional tricks which make the barolo softer and enduring at the same time.

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As soon as the maceration begins, we remove the seeds which contain most of the bitter tannins. After fermentation, we continue macerating with the grape skins, minus possible green bits from the vine, for around 60 days, including the submerged marc cap. This method improves the polyphenolic extraction, complexity of aromas, and their evolution. There’s more finesse and smoothness. The wine is more steady even if it loses a bit of color thanks to a “sponge effect”. There are a lot of tannins, but they’re of great quality and refinement. These are wines which can age, but can be appreciated almost immediately for their amazing polyphenolic balance.

This is how we obtain a Barolo with both aged and modern character, without the coarseness and bitterness of the 50s and 60s, but rather freshness and natural feel of the new millennium.