An accumulation of clay and silt particles that have been deposited by the wind. Loess is typically pale-coloured, unstratified, and loosely cemented by calcium carbonate. Favoured for viticulture because it is porous, permeable, readily warmed and easily penetrated by roots.
Nebulous Italian term usually denoting a wine given extended ageing before release, and suggesting a higher quality, and a higher percentage of alcohol than the normal version of the same wine. The ageing requirement for Riservas varies from DOC to DOC, but normally is a minimum of one year, up to 62 months for Barolo Riserva. In many cases this must include a period in cask, aswell as in bottle.
Or bâtonnage, as it is called in French, is the once fashionable winemaking operation of mixing up the lees in a barrel, cask, tank or vat with the wine resting on them. It is an optional addition to the process of lees contact and is often employed, particularly for whites which have undergone barrel fermentation. Usually done with a stick. Stirring up the lees in the barrel also effects oak flavour.
Imprecise tasting term used in many languages for a distinctive style of wine, often fortified wine or vin doux naturel, achieved by deliberately maderizing the wine by exposing it to oxygen and/or heat.
Also known as Vin du Glacier or Gletscherwein in German, is a local speciality in the Val Anniviers near Sierre in the Valais in Switzerland. The white wine, traditionally made of the now obscure Rèze vine, comes from communally cultivated vines and is stored at high elevations in casks refilled just once a year on a solera system.
An expression for that part of the Bordeaux wine region that is on the left bank of the river Garonne. It includes, travelling down river, Graves, Sauternes, Barsac, Pessac-Léognan, Médoc and all the appellations of the Médoc.
French term for the intricate traditional method described in detail in sparkling winemaking. From 1994 the term was outlawed by EU authorities in favour of one of the following: méthode traditionelle; méthode classique; méthode traditionelle classique; fermented in this bottle and traditional method.
Or premier cru classé, is a cru judged of the first rank, usually according to some official classification. The direct translation of the French term premier cru, much used in the context of Bordeaux, is first growth. In Burgundy, scores of vineyards are designated premiers crus, capable of producing wine distinctly superior to village wine but not quite so great as the produce of the grands crus.
The general French term both for grape pomace and, more widely, for pomace brandy. It is used to distinguish the product from a fine, which may be made by distilling local wine. Most traditional wine regions make marc from the pomace, grape skins, and pips left after pressing.