272/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Pla de Bages – Artés – Celler Cooperatiu d’Artés – Picapoll Joven Artium 2013
Lullaby of Birdland………..,
Picapoll Joven Artium 2013, 100% Picapoll
Straw yellow colour, clear and transparent with green hues, brilliant. The nose is pleasant, fruity and fresh. White notes, tropical fruit and citrus with floral notes which appear in the background. Easy entry, fruity and pleasant in the mouth. Tasty, creamy and with medium acidity that adds just the right amount of freshness. Mineral touches with a salty point. Short aftertaste. This is a single varietal of the Picapoll from the D.O. Pla de Bages. This small appellation is based in the district of Manresa and the total number of cellars is 12. Most of them are small family farms. The wine is a young white which is made with Picapoll grape variety, which is native to this area, fermented in stainless steel tanks at 18 ° C for 25 days. It is a white that is easy to drink, light and fruity. Great value for money!
Picapoll is a local grape which is to a high degree being replanted or grafted to existing rootstocks. While often confused with Picpoul, this grape has been grown in the area since Roman times, being referenced in the writings of Pliny the Elder. Picapoll berries are small, oval and thick-skinned; though there are larger berried clones used as a table grape. The grape requires a lot of attention in the vineyard as bunches tend to grow smaller, “shoulder” clusters which need to be pruned off for proper ripening. The vines are very resistant to arid conditions and almost never shows over-ripe aromas. For maximum expression of the wine, skin contact, reductive winemaking and lees aging are essential.
Celler Cooperatiu d’Artés put great care in making all their wines and Cavas, paying meticulous attention to all stages of the process from monitoring the ripening of the grapes in the vineyards to final bottling. With each stage requiring specific skills and its own time. Not all wines follow the same process: some are young and ready to drink now, while they are young and fresh; others are enriched, matured and patiently aged in oak casks selected for each wine’s style, variety and vintage. However, in all cases, the winemaking process only begins after careful selection of the grape varieties required to give the desired type of wine.
After harvesting the grapes, Picapoll and Macabeu for white wines and Cabernet Sauvignon, Ull de Llebre, Merlot and Sumoll for red wines, the grapes are de-stemmed to obtain the must for the red wines. The grapes used for white wines are not de-stemmed. The grapes are then gently pressed, followed by debourbage at low temperatures. The juice is then fermented(the natural process by which the sugar in the must is converted into alcohol) in modern tanks equipped with cooling systems. The duration and temperature vary depending on the type of must. For white wines, fermentation lasts for 13 days at temperatures below 18ºC; for rosé wines, 2 weeks at 16-17ºC, and for red wines, 10-15 days at 26-29ºC.
After alcoholic fermentation, the red wines that will be aged need a few more days of maceration to extract the polyphenols (anthocyanins, aromas, extracts and tannins), which will play a vital role in the aging of the wine both in the barrels and in the bottles. After a certain period of maceration, a second (malolactic) fermentation is carried out. This is the process in which lactic bacteria break down the malic acid and convert it into lactic acid. This process is very important because it softens the wine, an essential step in the process of obtaining a true quality wine. To make rosé wines, the must only stays 24 hours with the skins; white wines are fermented without the skins. Aging in oak casts and subsequent maturing in the bottle are essential for red wines to enhance their fragrance and obtain optimal quality. White and rosé wines are drunk young. Some whites such as Picapoll are also aged and are fermented in new oak casks for 3 months.
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