Life Inside the Bubble | Rosé d’assemblage

In this installment we join our winemaker, Emma Bruwer, to learn more about “Rosé d’assemblage” – a tricky process used to produce our lauded Le Lude Brut Rosé…

With harvest done and dusted, the last of our tanks wrapping up with fermentation and only a few pressings to go it’s time to start thinking about how to blend our rosé – a pivotal moment in the making of our Le Lude Brut Rosé as it plays a major role in defining qualities such as aroma, flavour and colour. Simply put, “Rosé d’assemblage” involves the blending of white wine with red wine to bring about these specific characteristics, and can be considered a deeply personal experience for any winemaker. Loosely translated it means “the assembly of rosé”, which is exactly what the process involves.

Hand harvested to minimise bruising and premature pressing, the bunches are gently destemmed into open-top fermenters on arrival at our winery and immediately placed in our cold room for three to four days before inoculation. This approach is referred to as “cold maceration” and provides a medium for extraction of water-soluble phenol compounds (the grape’s colour, which resides in the berry’s skin) while allowing for a slower, cooler and gentler fermentation. Once fermentations starts, usually on Day Four when we allow the juice to heat up to 13°C and inoculate it, we monitor temperatures closely to allow for a slow and steady fermentation over the next two weeks. An aggressive fermentation, fast and at high temperatures, is not preferd as it compromises subtle cultivar aromas and flavours, clean fruit aromas and light tannin structures – all of which we consider crucial facets in our Le Lude MCCs. As we only use the cuvée (juice from the first pressing of the grapes – basically liquid gold) from our Pinot Noir and – Meunier grapes, the juice extracted is light in colour and delicate in flavour, filled with beautiful fruit aromas and balanced in body.

Following fermentation, the wine goes into 500L barrels for four months before we start blending it with base wines to create what will become our Le Lude Brut Rosé 2019. We prefer larger barrels so-as to drive flavour and aroma complexity alongside a defined palate structure, whilst minimising on oak aromas and teriary flavours. After four months, and before the wine’s second fermentation we start the blending process to truly combine the wines into a synchronised final product. Traditionally this blend ranges between 5% and 20%, and we try to stick to a lower persentage blend so-as to achieve a rose gold/blush coloured colour – as elegant in the glass as it is on the palate.

Balanced complexity has always been an important driver behind our approach here at Le Lude as we believe it is a very important part of what makes for a great Cap Classique. It is for this reason that, should you taste the three Le Lude MCCs available on the tasting menu at our Orangerie Restaurant (as different as they may be), you’ll always notice a golden thread of singularity running through them…