2018 Sotto Voce Sparkling Albarino
The base wine is the same as our 2018 Limited Release Albariño. The vines are quite old (20+ years) on a quad trellising system that can be susceptible to sunburn, so the harvest date needs to be very specific. The handpicked grapes were in excellent condition, with the ripeness at 21.6 Brix.
Processed first thing in the morning through the new Diemme Velvet 80 Press, which ensures that little to no oxygen comes in contact with the juice, resulting in brighter, fresher product. The free run juice was separated from the pressings to allow the more elegant characters to prevail. Ferment was complete on 10/19/18, lasting 34 days. The fermented wine was then cold stabilized and heat stabilized.
Most of the base wine was then bottled for limited release while while the rest was put through Méthode Champenoise. This is the process used to create the famous wines of the Champagne region in France. A ‘base’ wine is created prior to being transferred to the bottles where the secondary fermentation occurs. Sugar and specialized yeast are then added, the bottle is capped (crown seal) and fermentation occurs, whereby generating more alcohol but more importantly CO2. The CO2 remains in solution even when the bottles are opened following ‘riddling’. This is where the yeast lees are agitated and allowed to settle under the cap. Then the bottle neck is frozen before the pressure produced from the ferment ejects the ‘plug’ of solids. The wine is then topped to the required level with the liqueur d’expedition before the cork is inserted and the wire hood attached.