What is sparkling Pinot Noir?
There are two kinds of “Sparkling Pinot Noir.”
The first is a Sparkling Wine or Champagne called “Blanc des Noirs,” which is made by pushing just-picked Pinot Noir grapes and maintaining them from skin contact. Practically all red wines and red grapes possess white fruit juice. So by that means a white or faintly pinkish fruit juice is produced which is then fermented to dryness, placed in a bottle with a determined amount of sugar water, and refermented in the closed bottle to create the bubbles.
The second type of Sparkling Pinot Noir would certainly be a sparkling red wine. In this situation, the Pinot Noir would be crushed and fermented on its own skins to produce red wine. This wine, in a shift, would be put into a wine bottle and fermented for a second time to create the bubbles.
How Pinot Noir is made?
Add a little bit of fizz to your life with sparkling Pinot Noir.
In the words of 1960s crooner, Don Ho, “tiny bubbles in the wine make me happy make me feel fine”, and being everything about living life to the full, we’ve made a decision to indulge in a glass or two of the bubbly stuff this year … but that doesn’t mean missing out on Pinot Noir.
Sparkling Pinot Noir is a fascinating, decadent, slightly cheeky glass of bubbly, and as long as it’s easy to drink, this wine is literally one of the most technical to manufacture.
Jansz Tasmania Vigneron, Jennifer Doyle, said sparkling wines are complex because they need to be fermented two times– the first time to make the base wine and the 2nd time around to make the bubbles (where all the enjoyable is).
” To produce those fine bubbles and the creaminess that we all love in a sparkling wine, the second fermentation and then tirage maturation takes a minimum of three years– but I think we can all agree it is worth the wait,” Jennifer said.
And for Jennifer, this process all occurs in a little corner known as ‘Sparkling Tasmania’, within the Pipers River region in the North East, where you’ll find the Jansz Tasmania Vineyard.
Since 2005, the winery has been making Jansz Tasmania Vintage Rosé– one of the few 100% Pinot Noir sparkling wines coming from the island state.
” The desire for a sparkling Rosé has become increasingly popular over the last few years,” Jennifer said.
“Ours is a yummy drink– with luscious layers of vibrant red fruit, Turkish delight, savory notes of blue cheese and truffles, and beautiful fresh acidity.”
“When we discovered that a particular patch of Pinot Noir grapes grown in our vineyard really lent themselves to a 100% Pinot sparkling it was an opportunity too good to pass up. “
“The particular blocks the fruit is sourced from are north-facing on top of a hill, overlooking the Bass Strait.
“It is quite exposed to the cold winds, but these conditions create beautiful flavors in the grapes.”
Jennifer said the traditional style of sparkling wine features 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, like the Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvée.
“The winemaking process for the Vintage Rosé only alters slightly to that of the Vintage Cuvée, but it varies greatly from a Pinot Noir table wine.
Sparkling in the making
“For the sparkling wines, we pick the grapes in late-March, which is earlier than if they were being used in a table wine because we are after slightly more acidity. “
“When we use Pinot Noir grapes for a sparkling wine we take the skins off immediately so there is little color picked-up in the base wine. “
“Whereas for Pinot Noir table wine you are after that beautiful red color and therefore the skins are left on the grapes during the fermentation.”
Once the base wine is made, the next step is the second fermentation.
“We begin the second fermentation when the base wine is at 11-11.5% alcohol, so at this stage, it’s a lower alcohol percentage than if you were producing a table wine, in order to maintain that fresh natural acidity,” Jennifer said.
“The base wine is put into bottles where sugar and yeast is added, to create the bubbles. “
“It is then left lying on its side for up to three years, which also allows a creaminess to develop in the wine from the extended contact with the yeast lees.”
Riddle me this?
Once the wine has fermented Jennifer then undertakes a procedure called “riddling”.
“This is a gradual process of turning the bottle from being on its side to being on its head, to move all of the dead yeast solids to the neck of the bottle,” she said.
“These solids are removed by freezing the neck of the bottle. The crown seal is then taken off and the frozen solids are removed in a process named disgorgement. “
“Because the bottle is no longer full we’ll then add what we call the “dosage”– some sugar to add a hint of sweetness and a little bit of table Pinot Noir, to create a beautiful argyle pink color.”
It’s all about the taste.
With 5 or fewer words Jennifer describes the Jansz Tasmania Vintage Rosé as a rose petal, argyle pink, and strawberry.
Her preferred meals to enjoy her sparkling with are barbecued Tassie sardines on crostini, quail served with a pomegranate and rocket salad, and for dessert a rose petal jelly.
Sounds yummy right?