This legal designation means that the wine was matured exclusively in barrels for a period of at least six months. This method of maturation gives the wine oak aromas. Discover our Cuvée du Fondateur, aged in oak barrels
Each estate uses its own specific vocabulary. Here is a list of words related to wine and Bordeaux which you may come across as a lover of wine.
Ampelography is the science of identifying and describing grape varieties. The term is composed of two Greek words, ampelos (vine) and graphein (writing). It is used to identify grape varieties by studying the leaves, bunches, branches and inflorescence. For each grape variety, it describes the flowering, production, susceptibility to disease and parasites, the quality of…
In wine tasting, this term designates a dry, coarse, rough feeling in the mouth. This impression comes directly from the presence of tannins in the wine, which react with saliva and proteins in the mouth.
Yvecourt Bordeaux Red and Rosé are both available as a three-litre bag-in-box (BIB). The bag-in-box format offers various advantages: It takes up less space and is lighter than the equivalent amount of four 750ml bottles It can keep for up to four weeks after opening at room temperature: the wine does not oxidise as it…
This is a production method that views the ecosystem around the vine as a whole which requires preserving. Biodynamics can be applied both to vine cultivation methods and also to the winemaking process.
In oenology, blending is the art of mixing various grape varieties or vatfuls together to make a wine. This is also the basis of a wine trading house’s work: various winegrowers and/or cooperatives provide Maison Mau with vatfuls which the cellar master will then blend, for example to make “Yvecourt Bordeaux Red” or the fruity…
France’s largest winegrowing region. Recognised across the world as the “capital of wine”, Bordeaux’s vineyards offer six families of wine spread across 65 appellations with more than 111,000 hectares under production. Over 6,000 chateaus, 300 wine merchants, 84 brokers and 34 winegrowers’ cooperatives. Source: Bordeaux Wine Syndicate, 2015
An olfactory examination is the second stage in the tasting process. The initial bouquet comes from smelling the wine when it is poured into the glass. This is then followed by a second wave after the wine is swirled to aerate it, releasing its aromas.
In oenology, a “caudalie” is a unit to measure how long the flavours of a wine linger on the palate after tasting. One caudalie is equal to one second: very expressive wines can be up to 20 caudalies.
The designation “chateau”, primarily used in the Bordeaux region, describes a wine estate. To use this designation, a producer must be conducting autonomous cultivation, in other words must have all the elements required for wine production including vineyard, buildings (winery) and equipment. No actual chateau is therefore required under the decree dated 19 August 1921….
Clarification is the final step before bottling in the winemaking process. It consists of removing suspended particles to leave the wine clear. There are various possible methods, including fining and filtration.
Analysing a wine’s colour is the first step in the tasting process. A visual examination allows you to assess the wine’s appearance based on its clarity, brightness, colour and viscosity.
Decanting for aeration purposes is a process reserved for young wines. Oxygenation helps to round out the tannins and leaves the wine less aggressive on the palate. Not to be confused with decanting to remove sediment.
Decanting for sediment reasons applies to old wines. It allows the wine to be separated from any sediment found in the bottle. This is different to decanting for aeration purposes.
This term covers a wide range of burnt aromas including tobacco, caramel, toast, roasted coffee, tar, pepper and smoke. Empyreumatic aromas are usually obtained during the barrel ageing process.
As the name suggests, the region of Entre-Deux-Mers (“between two seas”) sits between two watercourses: the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. It is France’s largest AOC region and has a very wide range of soils.
This is one of the steps in the winemaking process. The process can be completed in different types of vats, namely stainless steel, concrete or wood. There are two different types of fermentation: Alcoholic: alcoholic fermentation allows the yeast to transform sugar into alcohol. Malolactic: the aim of this is to reduce a wine’s acidity,…
The filling level must be stated on a wine’s front or back label. It indicates the quantity of the contents in millilitres, centilitres or litres. 350 ml or 375 ml: half-bottle 750 ml: bottle 1.5 L: magnum 3 L: double magnum (in Bordeaux), Jeroboam (in Champagne) 5 L: Jeroboam (in Bordeaux) 6 L: Imperial (or…
Food and wine pairings
The art of pairing a wine with different dishes in order to match the aromas and flavours.
The is the type of vine used for wine production. Each variety provides a wine with different characteristics and aromas. In the Bordeaux winegrowing region, the red and rosé appellations primarily consist of the grape varieties Merlot (65%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), Cabernet Franc (10%), and 2% other varieties (Malbec, Petit Verdot). The white Bordeaux appellations…
A term used when all stages in the wine production process are performed on the estate: harvest, winemaking, dressing and packaging. The wine is then ready to be sold, either directly from the estate or via a merchant.
The period during which grapes designed for use in producing the next year’s wine are harvested. For example, the autumn 2017 harvest will be used to produce the 2017 vintage and will be sold from January 2018 onwards. The harvest date is set based on grape ripeness, and is usually in September and October.
Haute Valeur Environnementale (HVE)
HVE certification (meaning “high environmental value”) is awarded to farmers/winegrowers who choose to take a “reasoned” approach to their work, from wine cultivation to bottling. This certification promotes good, environmentally friendly practices across three levels: Level 1 : This level certifies that growers have a basic knowledge of “sustainable” cultivation. Level 2 : This level is achieved…
In Bordeaux, the left bank covers three major wine regions on the left hand side of the Gironde and Dordogne, namely Médoc, Graves and Sauternes. The soils have good filtering properties and hold the heat well. They are primarily limestone-clay, sand and gravel. Définition : Right bank
The period of maturation takes place after fermentation and lasts for several months. This stage allows the wine to develop its aromas and tannins. The cellar master is responsible for monitoring the maturation process.
Merchants buy wine from estates via brokers, to be bottled and/or packaged if the estate does not have the necessary equipment. They also provide a sales force to sell the wines.
Oenotourism covers vine and wine tourism, in other words exploring vineyards and tasting wines. There are now a wide range of oenotourism options that offer ways of exploring the wine culture of any region, including Bordeaux.
A distinction is drawn between ‘wine made from organically grown grapes’ and ‘organic wine’. For the former only the winegrowing element (i.e. vine cultivation) has been certified as organic, whilst for the latter the certification covers the entire production process (both winegrowing and winemaking).
Analysing a wine’s flavours is the final step in the tasting process. It is split into three phases: the attack, mid-palate and finish.
The principle of an “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée/Protégée” (“Controlled/Protected Designation of Origin”) is to protect a terroir and production expertise. They were created to combat fraud. The only difference between a PDO and an AOC is the scope of application. Both designate a product which must be produced, processed and developed in a specific geographical area…
A PGI (or “protected geographical indication”) is a European label awarded by France’s quality institute INAO. It designates agricultural products and food items with characteristics which have close ties with a particular geographic area where they are produced, processed or developed (as a minimum requirement).
A Bordeaux practice which consists of tasting the most recent harvest in a “preview showing”, in other words before the maturation process is complete, and purchasing it a year before it officially hits the market.
In Bordeaux, the right bank covers two major wine regions on the right hand side of the Gironde and the Dordogne, namely Blaye and Libourne. The soils are well drained and are primarily limestone-clay or gravel. Définition : Left bank
Semi-sweet wines (“moelleux” in French) are less sweet than sweet examples, as a result of a different blend: more Sauvignon and less Semillon, which is susceptible to noble rot. To be considered semi-sweet, a wine must contain between 30 and 50 grams of sugar per litre. Explore our Yvecourt – Bordeaux Moelleux
This is a new term inspired by the “slow life” trend aimed at slowing things down and making the most of the present. “Slow drinking” is an encouragement to take the time to appreciate a glass of wine, beer or another drink by following the steps in the tasting process.
The production of sweet wines (“liquoreux” in French) is centred on Sauternes and Entre-Deux-Mers across six appellations: Sauternes, Barsac, Cerons, Cadillac, Loupiac and Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont. This wine production is unique worldwide thanks to a particular climate which allows the development of botrytis, a fungus which leaves the grapes overripe and results in the famous noble rot….
Tannins are extracted from the grape skins and seeds during maceration, part of the winemaking process. A “tannic” wine is one with a high level of tannins, which allow the wine to age well. During the tasting process, they provide the wine with structure and body on the palate.
Analysing a wine using the senses, in particular its appearance (visual examination), aroma (olfactory examination) and flavour (gustatory examination). Tasting is a genuine sensory analysis which offers a way of exploring and appreciating wine (see “slow drinking“). When tasting multiple wines, there are two ground rules to follow : Start with the lighter wines (sparkling,…
A wine’s vintage is the year of its harvest, in other words the year in which its grapes were picked and the wine production process was begun.
Autumn and spring wine fairs have become key fixtures in the calendar for wine enthusiasts looking for good bargains, whether in supermarkets or from merchants. Bordeaux is the appellation with the strongest presence at such events in large stores. Source : Bordeaux Wine Council – distributor panel – wine fair analysis autumn 2016
Winemaking covers all of the steps involved in transforming grapes into wine. Some of the most important steps are : Harvest Fermentation Maturation The final stage is bottling.
This is where the winemaking process is overseen by the cellar master and winery workers. This description covers both the vat room and the barrel store where barrels are left to mature.