Decuvage: Emptying the fermentation tanks, digging out the cap from those tanks and pressing the cap.
The day after our Paulée seems more Spring-like than Autumn; there’s a cool-ish blue sky, but bright sunshine too. I thought I was going to get my hands (and probably a lot more!) dirty this afternoon, as we planned to start the first ‘decuvage’ after lunch, but the boss decided to wait one more day – shame, my TGV awaits!
The whites are looking really good, so-far no surprises have lain in wait. The reds have extracted their colour rather easily and seem to offer very nice aromatics. Fermentations are well under-way here, with many temperatures closing in on to 30°C now. Despite apparently high potential alcohols (lots of people quoting 12-13+ at harvest), the truth is in the detail – these quoted figures are almost always based on the ‘legal’ potential alcohol, which deviates from the (different calculation) actual (analytical) alcohols achieved by as much as 0.8% this year – many are the domaines that planned to add 0.3-0.5% sugar (pretty-much as ‘usual’) but are finding that 0.5-1.0(+)% is required.
Very early days of-course, but the wines look surprisingly good after the harvest and triage travails. Let’s see how this continues…