Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé (Extra Brut) made from the fruit off Russell Family Vineyard. The grapes were picked for purpose and pressed immediately. The juice was then put to neutral barrel to go through primary fermentation, and malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged in neutral barrels for 6 months before it underwent the process to become a sparking via Méthode Champenoise, or méthode traditionnelle ("traditional method").
The traditional method of sparkling winemaking was awarded a UNESCO heritage in Champagne in 2015. It is–arguably–the most appreciated method for sparkling wine production in terms of quality, and at the same time it is also the most costly in terms of production. The most important facet of the traditional method is that the transformation from a still to a sparkling wine occurs entirely inside the bottle. (source: WINE FOLLY)
1. Base Wine or “Cuvée”: grapes are picked (usually just a tinsy bit younger to preserve acidity) and fermented into a dry wine. We put our rosé through malolactic fermentation as well to soften the acidity and give a creamier mouthfeel.
2. Tirage: Yeast and sugars are added to the cuvée to start the second fermentation and wines are bottled (and topped with crown caps).
3. 2nd Fermentation: (inside the bottle) The second fermentation adds about 1.3% more alcohol and the process creates CO2 which is trapped inside the bottle thus carbonating the wine. The yeast dies in a process called autolysis and remain in the bottle.
4. Aging: Wines are aged on their lees (the autolytic yeast particles) for a period of time to develop texture in the wine (Can also add notes of brioche and yeast). Champagne requires a minimum of 15 months of aging (36 mos for vintage Champage). Cava requires a minimum of 9 months of aging but requires up to 30 months for Gran Reserva Cava. Most believe the longer the wine ages on its lees, the better. Our sparkling has been on the lees for 26 months.
5. Riddling: Clarification occurs by settling the bottle upside down and the dead yeast cells collect in the neck of the bottle.
Disgorging: Removing sediment from bottle. The bottles are placed upside down into freezing liquid which causes the yeast bits to freeze in the neck of the bottle. The crown cap is then popped off momentarily which allows the frozen chunk of lees to shoot out of the pressurized bottle.
6. Dosage: A mixture of wine and sugar (called Exposition liqueur) is added to fill bottles (not much extra sugar is added in our sparkling, to maintain the Extra Brut description) and then bottles are corked, wired and labeled.