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Aging in amphora, a novelty from ... antiquity

It’s fascinating to note that these wine containers were discovered in the northern Caucasus region of present-day Georgia and Armenia, the ancestral cradle of wine. Amphoras have been used here since antiquity to vinify, age, store and even transport wine. This practice, which not only evokes antiquity and its preserved know-how, also embodies a modern philosophy of oenology focused on preserving the aromatic qualities of the grape and the authenticity of its profile.

Sandstone, porcelain and terracotta are used to favor aromatic purity.

We use 3 types of container at Domain le Trébuchet:

Porcelain jars

Sandstone eggs

Terracotta amphoras

They feature the following characteristics:

These neutral materials do not alter the aromatic profile of the wines, nor do they add any woody, roasted, toasted or toasted tones, unlike barrels. These materials preserve the aromatic purity and varietal typicity of the grape varieties.

The shape of the amphoras, jars or eggs is devoid of angles, which has the effect of encouraging the circulation of the lees (solid natural particles resulting from fermentation), which are thus re-suspended in the wine. As a result, compounds naturally present in the lees (such as mannoproteins) are released, bringing roundness, body and volume to the palate.

These materials have varying degrees of natural porosity, making them more or less permeable to oxygen. This characteristic favors low, homogeneous and continuous oxygenation. The result is fruity wines with enhanced primary aromas. This optimal micro-oxygenation of the wine also polishes the tannins, making them more integrated within the wine matrix.

Thanks to their remarkable thermal inertia, stoneware, porcelain and terracotta protect wines from significant temperature fluctuations. This stability has a significant positive effect on the profile of slow-maturing wines. The result is wines with a fresh fruit profile, preserving their aromatic purity and vivacity.

During aging, the choice of container is made according to the specific characteristics of each grape variety and vintage, with the aim of getting the utmost out of their aromatic profiles and structures.

"Fruity Cuvées"

They are matured in porcelain jars with very moderate porosity. The fruitiest varietals will require little aeration and a relatively short ageing period (around 6 months), in order to preserve the freshness of the fruit as much as possible. Oxidation and micro-oxygenation are much better controlled, enabling a significant reduction in the use of So2.

"Aging Cuvées"

The most tannic grape varieties, which require greater aeration and longer ageing periods, are aged in terracotta amphora with greater porosity. This polishes the tannins, adds roundness and a certain sweetness to the wine.

“Complex Cuvées”

Varietals that are both fruity and tannic, requiring micro-oxygenation coupled with a short ageing period (to preserve the fruit’s aromas), are aged in sandstone eggs. This ageing process confers freshness and complexity.

A wine's personality draws its essence from the grape, from all the components of the grape and exclusively from the grape.

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