In white winemaking ageing on the lees, or sur lie ageing, is frequently used to enhance many properties of the wine including both aesthetic and physical characteristics. The autolysis of yeast cells after alcoholic fermentation releases many compounds which impact the final properties of the wine, most notably the sensory characteristic of mouthfeel/weight/volume is enhanced.
The properties of tartaric acid stability and protein stability can also be impacted. The release of yeast components from autolysis can also improve subsequent malolactic fermentation as nutrients for the ML bacteria if MLF is desired for the specific wine.
In this trial the mouthfeel character of the wine is the focus. Use of frequent stirring over time is the main manipulation used in cellar for sur lie aged wines. The use of specific enzyme blends containing B-glucanase and pectinase enzyme activities may also enhance the sur lie character of wines over a shorter timeline thus reducing the cellar risks of spoilage and flavor deterioration related to microbial risk as well as oxidation. Accelerated sur lie character can also lead to bringing the wine to bottle sooner.
Control treatment vs Experimental for this trial is as follows:
Cellar ageing on lees with frequent stirring versus B-glucanase/pectinase enzyme addition using identical cellar practices as control (Laffort enzyme Extralyse)
*Use of a sur lie adjunct such as Laffort Oenolees may also be evaluated post-sur lie ageing as an added level of trial complexity.