COUPAGES, THE SECRET OF GREAT WINES
Why are most of the world’s Great Wines made with coupages?
Coupage is a French wine making method. It is a winning blend that helps structuring a unique identity and transfer it to a wine. There are several styles of coupages:
- From different types of grapes, for conferring a deeper complexity to the wine.
- The same wine but from different vintages, for harmonizing the vintages.
- The same grape variety but from different regions, for adding richer nuances.
Originally, by pure chance, the different grape varieties were planted together in mixed plots. Therefore, while people were harvesting, coupages were already being made. Nowadays, each grape variety is planted and harvested separately, and the coupages are made later at the winery.
A really well made coupage highlights the extraordinary characteristics of each grape variety. There are some wine regions that have become famous worldwide by their great coupages and, consequently, their great wines such as:
Champagne region: they use mainly Pinot Noir, that gives structure and body; Meunier that gives fruity; and Chardonnay that provides finesse, elegance and vitality.
Priorat region: Red Grenache and Carignan, the stars of a selected range of grape varieties. The attributes that Red Grenache mainly brings are aroma, elegance and freshness. Those from Carignan – the structure, the texture and the ageing potential.
Bordeaux region: this wine region famous for its great wines has three main varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon – which provides structure, tannins and aromas; Merlot – which provides color, full body and fresh red fruits; and Cabernet Franc that adds finesse and has a great capacity for ageing.
A wine is more than a fermented must, is an art
In the wine world there is much science, however, there also is a great artistic component. When our winemakers create the coupages they strive to build something better. They take each wine to a higher level, to a more complex and multidimensional and a more delicious combination of ingredients. It is their way to balance a wine and to achieve its unique expression. In short, it is an artist’s way to highlight the potential of each variety.
In most of coupages, grapes are vinified and sometimes even aged separately to be later combined right before bottling – after our winemakers explore the taste and the quality of each wine in order to match them into the perfect blend.