CRUASE’ – METODO CLASSICO BY BERTE’ CORDINI
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post on the high-end flagship wine of Oltrepò Pavese, Cruasé -Pinot Noir Rosé Metodo Classico DOCG. If that doesn’t make sense to you, check out the post here and get caught up.
Now, that you know what a Cruasé wine is, let’s take a look at what happens when the Pinot Noir grapes get to the winery.
DELIVERING GRAPES AT THE WINERY
Most grapes are slowly lowered into the de-stemmer machine which separates the berries from the stems and leaves. However, to make Cruasé, the majority of Pinot Noir grapes are sent straight to the crusher, stems and all. The reason why they skip the de-stemming phase is to avoid having the berries rupture and lose acidity. The Pinot Noir grapes are immediately crushed to collect the juice and to avoid any contact with the skins.
A small, five to ten percent of the Pinot Noir grapes intended for Cruasé will go through the de-stemmer and will remain with the skins for eight to ten hours in order to obtain more color and aroma.
CRUASE’ METODO CLASSICO – TWO FERMENTATIONS
The juice that was immediately pressed ferments in tanks for two to three weeks. When the fermentation ends, they are transferred into different tanks and will stay there until February or March.
Come February-March, the colorful Pinot Noir juice that went through the de-stemmer will be blended with the white Pinot Noir juice and then filtered. After the yeast has been added, the juice is bottled.
A second fermentation takes place, this time in the bottle. This second fermentation is what characterizes a “Classical Method”, “Champagne-style” or “Metodo Classico” wine. The bottles are placed on an incline, facing down to encourage the dead yeast to fall into the neck of the bottle. Every so often, all the bottles are rotated to collect the dead yeast.
WHEN CAN WE DRINK THE CRUASE’?
The wine is said to be ready when there is no more residual sugar, the fermentation has finished (yeast has died) and the pressure in the bottle has reached six bar. At Bertè Cordini, the Cruasé spends a minimum of two years in the bottle, starting from the second fermentation, before it is considered ready for consumption.
The last step is to get rid of the dead yeast that has collected in the neck of the bottle. This is done by freezing the neck and releasing the dead yeast. The bottle is then immediately corked, caged, washed and labeled, ready to be enjoyed.