What is sur lie in winemaking?
If wine ages in contact with its fine lees for a considerable time, it develops pronounced round, full, creamy flavors that may present as nutty or yeasty, like warm brioche, in the finished wine. The French call this process sur lie, which translates to “on the lees.”
What does sur lie aging do to wine?
Notice the thin layer of fine lees on the bottom of the barrel. Sur lie aging is the process of allowing a finished wine to continue to sit on the lees in order to extract flavors. As the yeast decomposes it can impart nut, bread, and yeast flavors to a wine.
What does the term sur lie mean if you see it on a wine label?
You may have seen the words “sur lie” on the label of wine bottles. Sur lie is French for “on the lees,” but what exactly are wine lees and what do they do? Simply put lees are sediment and sur lie means the wine was aged with this sediment. Fine lees, composed primarily of dead yeast cells, are quite desirable.
What does lees stirring add to a wine?
Lees stirring increases lees/wine contact resulting in an extra layer of brioche, yeasty flavour complexity and greater body or richness. Lees contact (amplified by stirring) encourages the release of mannoproteins, which can bind to tannins and improve the wine’s mouthfeel.
What does lees smell like?
Nutty aromas, such as almond, plus hay and yeasty flavours can all be the results of a wine spending some time aged on lees, or ‘sur lie’ as it’s known in French.
How do you know if malolactic fermentation is done?
The most-accepted rule of thumb is to wait until the end of primary fermentation before adding the culture. Malolactic activity can be detected by the presence of tiny carbon-dioxide bubbles. When the bubbles stop, MLF is complete.
What is Muscadet sur lie?
Muscadet (Melon) is a wine for those who love anything-but-fruity wines. It is common to see these wines aged on the lees (labeled “sur lie”) which is a process of aging wines on suspended dead yeast particles (called lees). Lees-aged Muscadet attain an almost lager-like taste with a creamy texture and yeasty flavor.
How long can I leave wine on the lees?
Wines can be aged on lees for a few weeks and months or several years. By law, a non-vintage Champagne must be aged for 15 months in bottle and spend at least 12 months on lees, according to the Comité Champagne.