In the description of our white wine from the French Guide Hachette you can read “subtly perfumed.., floral aromas…” and Manchester Evening News adds “Floral and citrus characters abound on the nose and there is a juicy, almond, honey centre...” Where do all these fruits and flowers come from and how do they get in to your glass of Tour de Belfort?
Grape aromas come from the berry itself, and each different grape variety offers its own typical aromas. These are called primary aromas. Grapes can be blended giving the wine more personality and complexity. That’s why we find hand harvesting so important, the way we grow, cut and sort our grapes all contribute to the quality of the berry which directly develops the aromas of our wine. We protect every berry and unlike machine harvesting, we avoid bruising or crushing them before they reach the winery. We even go further by sorting each of them, keeping only the healthy ones.
Primary aromas will offer you lots of fruits and flowers and give your nose a scent of: Apple, Pear, Peach, Lime, Citrus in Chardonnay - White flowers, gooseberry and Boxwood in Sauvignon Blanc - Blackberry, Plum, Licorice in Malbec - Strawberry, Raspberry, Prune in our Merlot - Violet, Blackberry, Blackcurrant and Pepper in Syrah etc etc…
More aromas are released with the fermentation process, alcoholic (turning sugar into alcohol) and malolactic (turning malic acid into lactic acide in red wines and some white). These are called secondary aromas. This is why the use of additives and flavoured yeast, acids, or any other ingredient has an important influence on the taste and flavours of wines. These are widely used in mass wine production to ensure the same taste year after year, whatever climate conditions or state of grapes. Of course we do not allow any flavoured yeasts during our fermentation process and we protect our wine from oxidation and bacteria in our very clean winery. Every harvest offers a new discovery depending on the year’s weather, but always a pleasure!
Finally the ageing process helps the wine to mature which is the last stage of developing new aromas. Maturing wine in oak barrels adds complexity as well as toasty, chocolate, vanilla, almond and coffee aromas followed with other aromas developing in the bottle, including leather, smoke, mushroom, tobacco and roasting. All these aromas together create the 'bouquet' - the achievement of every 'Grand Vin', a delight for your nose and palate and endless discovery. That’s why we are now proud of our first Grand Vin, still resting in their oak barrels. Hope you will enjoy their bouquet in a few months.