Glossary : definition of terms used to talk about Bourgogne wines.


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Bourgogne wines Glossary

a dialect term derived from the verb "bêcher", to dig) is the process of finishing by hand the work of ploughing-back ; a mattock-type implement, which takes a number of local forms, is used to get at yhe soil between the plants where the plough cannot reach. Now that the use of chemical herbicides has become general the chief function of this process is to expose the base of vine in order to remove rootlets growing from the callus between sttock and scion.
Related words Vine, Grafting
European directive regulating viticulture, issued in 1987 and regularly amended since.
Shedding of parts of a plant (leaves, immature fruit) triggered by a vegetable hormone, abscissic acid.
Related words Coulure

During filtration, macromolecules such as tannins and polyphenols which lend the wine body and aromatic richness may be absorbed by the filtration plates and so impoverish the wine.

Related words Aroma / Odour, Polyphenols, Tannins, Wine, Particulate matter
Group of small arachnids, often wrongly described as "spiders", which includes mites and ticks. Some species ("red spiders", "yellow spiders") infest vine leaves, inhibiting photosynthesis and causing "grape rust". Typhlodromes, on the other hand, also acarids, are useful allies which prey on the vine parasites. They are now employed systematically as a means of organic pest control.
At certain stages in their production, wines may need to pass analytical tests or tastings in order to receive formal permission to proceed.
Related words Tasting
(tast.) Harsh and acidic.
Related words Harsh, Hard, Maceration, Stalk / Stem, Vinification
Condition caused by the action of acetic acid in the wine, lending it a vinegary odour (piqûre). Can be prevented by careful hygiene, avoidance of oxidation (exposure to the air), and by moderate sulphiting.
Related words Acescent,acetic, Bacteria
Naturally present in the wine. If allowed to combine with alcohol in the presence of air it produces ethyl acetate by bacterial action, giving the wine a vinegary odour (See Acescence).
Related words Acescent,acetic, Organic acid, Volatile acidity, Ethanol / Ethyl alcohol, Sour-sweet
Additive such as tartaric acid which increases the acidity of a wine.
Related words Tartaric acid, Acidity

(tast.) one of the basic elements in the taste of a wine, together with astringency and mellowness/sweetness. Acidity lends a desirable freshness to young white wines such as Bourgogne Aligoté but may be a fault in top grade wines. (See also Total acidity, Volatile acidity)

Related words Acidifier, Harsh, Aggressive, Sour-sweet, Angular / Sharp / Spiky, Flavour / taste

(tast.) Describes the taste of a wine which has not undergone malolactic fermentation.

Related words Malolactic fermentation, Flavour / taste
Something added, e.g. sulphur dioxide (see Sulphur)
Related words Sulphur, Barrel, Sulphur dioxide
Additive such as Kieselguhr only temporarily present in a wine.
Related words Kieselguhr / Diatomite / Diatomaceous earth / Infusorial earth
Electrostatic phenomenon by which particles become attached to other particles, as happens in fining and filtration.
Related words Particulate matter, Fining, Filtration
Unwanted bud growing from old wood on the vine.
(1) During vinification, deliberate oxygenation by racking or other method. (2) (tast.) Preparatory stage in the tasting process by which the wine is exposed to air by uncorking and/or decanting.
Related words Racking, Aroma / Odour
Describes a micro-organism active in the presence of air. (Cf Anaerobic)
(tast.) Disagreeable taste experienced after the wine has left the mouth.
(tast.) Said of a wine with too much acidity and/or tannin and/or (though rarely) alcohol.
Related words Acidity, Tannins, Alcohol

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the main ingredient of a wine after water, is produced by fermentation. It is a by-product, together with CO2, of the action of yeasts on sugars. The alcohol content of a wine is expressed as degrees or % volume, the two being equivalent. Alcohol gives warmth to a wine and is partially responsible for the mellowness which counterbalances acidity.

Related words Acescent,acetic, Aggressive, Heady, Alcoholic fermentation, Yeasts

(tast.) Wine with too much alcohol resulting in a hot or even burning sensation in the mouth.

Alcoholic fermentation transforms must into wine by the action of yeasts transforming sugars (fructose, glucose) into alcohol (ethanol) and CO2, releasing heat at the same time. Many other substances make their appearance during fermentation – glycerol, esters, organic acids, etc. – all of which contribute to the rich and complex character of the finished wine.

Related words Succinic acid, Volatile acidity, Alcohol, Rough / "bourru"
Substance formed by oxidation of alcohol (ethanol > ethanal ?? alkanal??) and producing an odour of walnut.
Related words Oxidation, Ethanol / Ethyl alcohol
Grape variety native to Burgundy. Produces round berries in almost cylindrical bunches, very pale orange in colour, flecked with brown. A vigorous variety, does well on sloping sites. Prone to mildew and black rot (anthracnose) but resistant to oïdium. Tends to yield light, acidic wines to be drunk young. The best come from a few Burgundian villages, notably Bouzeron (recognised as a communal appellation in 1998).
Related words Mildew / Downy mildew
(tast.) Aroma of the dried fruit family found in certain white burgundies.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Coleopterous insect which may parasitise the vines.
Colour found in some old wines.
(tast.) (1) Disagreeable taste in the back of the throat caused by immature tannins, expecially in red wines. (2) Disorder caused by bacterial action on the wine's glycerol content.
Related words Bitterness
Biogenic amines are substances produced from amino-acids by bacterial action. Their presence in wine is subject to regulation.
Related words Amino-acids
Nitrogenous compounds, the building blocks of proteins and natural nutriments for the yeasts and bacteria in a wine.
Related words Yeasts, Bacteria, Amines
Fast-acting fertilisers which speed up the decay of organic matter in the soil.
The study of grapes and more especially of grape varieties.
Related words Grape variety
Pottery jar used for transport and storage of wine by the Romans. Found in large numbers on Gallo-Roman archaeological sites such as Bibracte near Autun.
Describes bacteria which can exists in the absence of air.

(tast.) Said of wine which lacks body or suppleness but has an excess of tannin and acidity.

Related words Acidity, Tannins

(tast.) Class of wine odours (game, venison, musk, leather, ... ) A characteristic of red burgundies made from the Pinot Noir.

Related words Nose
Polyphenolic compounds responsible for the colour of black grape, resident mainly in the skin from which they are extracted by maceration.
Related words Polyphenols, Maceration


Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée. Products – mainly wines but also, for example, cheeses – named for the district in which they are produced. Burgundy has 100 AOC wines, the 100th (Saint-Bris) being created as recently as January 2003. There are 33 Grand Cru AOCs, 44 Communal (or Village) AOCs, and 23 Regional AOCs. The Communal AOCs include 562 named Premier Cru climats. (See also INAO)

the vine requires nitrogen ( N) for leaf growth, phosphoric acid (P2 O4) for fertility and general health, and potash (K2O) to improve yield, increase the sugar level and reduce the acidity of the must, and for increased resistance to frost and disease.
Cammoercial fertilisers are usually sold in granular form and applied by specially adapted machines either broadcast over the whole soil surface or only between the rows. it woyld be preferable to carry out this work in November so that the fertiliser is worked into the soil during the earthing-up process and carried to the roots by the winter rains.
a comparatively recent practice either for preventing weeds from growing or for killing weeds which are already established.

The aromas of a wine are perceived directly by the nose, or via the mouth (retro-olfaction). They are divided into primary aromas due to the grape variety (e.g. Chardonnay or Pinot Noir), secondary aromas which are products of fermentation, and tertiary aromas which develop during the ageing process. The word "odour" on the whole is reserved for disagreeable/undesirable smells.

Related words Absorption, Aeration, Citrus, Almond, Pineapple, Aromas@, Austere, Balsamic, Butter, Bouquet / Nose, Brioche, Cocoa, Coffee, Cinnamon, Varietal flavour, Cherry, Honeysuckle, Beeswax, Lemon, Civet
The aromas of a wine are perceived directly by the nose, or via the mouth (retro-olfaction). They are divided into primary aromas due to the grape variety (e.g. Chardonnay or Pinot Noir), secondary aromas which are products of fermentation, and tertiary aromas which develop during the ageing process. The word "odour" on the whole is reserved for disagreeable/undesirable smells.
Related words Hawthorn / Whitethorn
Name copyrighted by the BIVB for a multimedia presentation which includes olfactory experience.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Used at one time in filtration but banned since 1980.
Related words Filtration

(tast.) Sensation produced in the mouth by the tannins in the wine, especially in young red wines.

Related words Harsh

(tast.) Said of young and tannic wines, lacking in aromas.

Related words Aroma / Odour, Tannic
Of guaranteed purity as regards place of origin and grape variety.
Related words Grape variety, Terroir
Decomposition of yeasts by enzymes contained in their own cells. Can promote malolactic fermentation and improve the aromatic quality of white wines matured on their lees.
Related words Lees, Yeasts, Laths
God of wine. Romanised form of a Greek synonym for the god Dionysos. Represented in many sculptures. Ceremonies in his honour (bacchanalia) - not originally drunken orgies - were performed by priestesses known as bacchantes. As an adjective "bacchic" can refer to anything concerned with wine in literature, art, etc.
Those present in the wine may include undesirable acetic bacteria which cause acescence in the presence of oxygen and are combated by hygiene, sulphur dioxide and exclusion of air; and the desirable lactic bacteria responsible for malolactic fermentation.
Related words Acescent,acetic, Amino-acids, Volatile acidity, Acescence, Malolactic fermentation

(tast.) An important measure of the quality of a wine is the balance between mellowness and acidity in white wines, and between mellowness, acidity and astringency in red wines.

Related words Pleasant, Meaty
(tast.) Class of aromas including juniper, pine, resin, vanilla, etc.
Related words Aroma / Odour

A bottle containing 12 liters, or 16 x 75cl bottles.

Wine barrels in Burgundy are made from cleft (as opposed to sawn) oak staves. Contact between the wine and the wood significantly affects the finished result. The skilful wine-maker turns this fact to his advantage, ageing his wines partially in new barrels, which are more marked in their effect on aromas, in fixing colouration, and in promoting malolactic fermentation.
Related words Additive, Woody

In Burgundy the "pièce" of 228 litres is standard for the elevage of both red and white wines and is also used as the unit of commercial transactions in bulk wines. Chablis uses the "feuillette" of 132 litres (114 litres in the Côte d'Or and Saône-et-Loire). A "quarto" or "quartaut" has a quarter the capacity of the "pièce".

Wine (white or rosé) which is turned into Crémant de Bourgogne by secondary fermentation in bottle. A high quality base wine should be on the acid side and relatively low in alcohol.
Measures the density of musts, expressed in degrees.
Related words Must

See Bubble.

(tast.) Aroma found in well-aged white burgundies.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Form of clay, with similar properties to fuller's earth, used as finings on account of its capacity to trap suspended matter (especially proteins) which otherwise would make the wine cloudy (See Limpidity) It is not used with red wines because it is detrimental to intensity of colour.
Related words Fining

(tast.) Disagreeable flavour in (especially) red wines caused by rough, immature tannins or by bacterial attack on the glycerol content of the wine.

Related words Amertume / Bitterness
(tast.) Aroma found in young wines made from Pinot Noir grapes.
tast) Aroma found in young wines made from Pinot Noir grapes. As a fruit liqueur (Crème de Cassis) it is a Burgundian speciality which, if mixed with twice its volume of Bourgogne Aligoté makes the celebrated Kir.
Sparkling wine made entirely from white grapes like certain Champagnes and 50% of Crémant de Bourgogne. (Cf Blanc de noirs)
White wine produced from white-juiced black grapes, mainly applied to Crémants in Burgundy

In Burgundy different lots of wine, must or grapes may be blended to achieve a desired quality but only if they are of the same grape variety, same vintage, and same place of origin.

Related words Must, Vintage
Tasting in which the taster is unaware of the wines' appellation or vintage.
Related words Millésime
Is measured in grammes per litre by ablood test, or in milligrammes per litre of expired air with a breathalyser. the legal limit in France is 0.5 g/l. Remenber to drink only in moderation

(tast.) A property of wines that are well-built, have sufficient alcohol, and a mouth-filling consistency.

The traditional Burgundian wine bottle has a capacity of 75 cl though other sizes exist from the ¼ litre airline bottle up to 12 litres. 75 cl or above is best for wines that are to undergo long periods of laying down.

A delicate operation which takes place only when the wine is judged ready, i.e. requires no further intervention. The time lapse between vinification and bottling is usually 10-24 months in Burgundy. (See Elevage)
A delicate operation which takes place only when the wine is judged ready, i.e. requires no further intervention. The time lapse between vinification and bottling is usually 10-24 months in Burgundy. (See Elevage)

The totality of aromas present in a mature wine.

Related words Aroma / Odour, Butter, Ripening

= Brilliance

(tast.) Applied to the appearance or "finish" of a wine.

(tast.) The aroma of fresh brioche is derived from fermentation and is found notably in Crémant de Bourgogne which has been made from Chardonnay grapes.
Related words Aroma / Odour
In very old wines, red or white, the colour evolves towards brown as the colouring matter (mainly flavones and anthocyanins) coagulates and is precipitated to form a deposit at the bottom of the bottle.
Related words Colour

Applied to a Crémant de Bourgogne containing less than 15 g/l of sugar.

Formed by CO2 released from sparkling wines such as Crémant de Bourgogne. If the bubbles are small and fine it points to a well-made, high-quality wine.
Emergence of the dormant vine buds from their protective scales at the end of winter. Signals the beginning of the annual vegetative cycle.
Wooden or silicon stopper of a barrel.
Fungicide composed of copper sulphate and sodium carbonate. Applied as a spray. (Cf. Bordeaux mixture)
(tast.) Wine which has too much alcohol. (See Alcoholic)
(tast.) Class of aromas ranging from caramel to charcoal
(tast.) Aroma found in some Burgundy wines.
Related words Aroma / Odour, Bouquet / Nose

(tast.) Slightly cheesy odour often related to malolactic fermentation.

Main branch left on a vine-stock after winter pruning. It carries the buds (generally 6 in Burgundy) or spurs from which the new year's growth will spring. In Guyot pruning, common in Burgundy, one 6-bud cane is left for the coming year's growth (tied in to a support wire), and one spur with 2 buds which will be the main cane the following year.
Related words Tying-down, Sarments
Training technique employed on Chardonnay vines in the Mâconnais. Bending down the main branch encourages fruiting while inhibiting excessive growth.
Related words Sarments


Mass of solids (stalks, skins, pips) which forms on the surface of the wine during fermentation in vats. It has to be regularly re-mixed with the liquid either by pumping-over or by cap-punching in order to ensure extraction of colour and tannins.
Related words Cap-punching
Breaking up the cap and re-mixing it with the liquid content of the vat. May be done mechanically or by hand with a special tool.
Related words Cap
A disorder of wine showing as change of colour and cloudy appearance. Due either to botrytis organisms (brown casse) or an excess of iron (blue or white casse), or copper. There is no real remedy.
Related words Turbid

Measure of the aromatic persistence or "length" of a wine in the mouth after tasting. Expressed in seconds. A "short" wine will score 2-4 caudalies, a great burgundy 8-12 caudalies or even more.

Related words Persistence / Persistency
Responsible for serving a restaurant's wines and managing the wine stocks.

Bring to room temperature (14°-16°C). But not, of course, if room is already overheated.

Addition of sugar to the must in order to raise potential alcohol. 1.7 g/l of sugar raises alcohol content by 1 degree. Process named after French chemist and politician Jean-Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832).



(tast.) Class of odours including alcohol, acetic compounds, "medical" odours, iodine, chlorine, plastic ...
(tast.) (1) Aroma found in certain red burgundies. (2) Medium-intensity red colour leaning slightly towards orange.
Related words Aroma / Odour, Colour

(tast.) Description applied to the consistency of wine experienced in the mouth.

Yellowing of the leaves caused by impaired uptake of iron in calcium-rich soils.
Cinnamon : (tast.) Aroma of the "spice" group.
Related words Aroma / Odour

Monks of the abbey of Cîteaux near Nuits-Saint-Georges whose daughter-foundations spread throughout Christendom in the Middle Ages. They were skilful wine-growers and wine-makers and established a number of vineyards among which the most famous is probably the Clos de Vougeot.

(tast.) Aromas of citrus fruit are characteristic of white wines fermented at low temperatures (17°-20°C). They disappear after a few months' ageing.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Centre Interprofessionnel Technique des Vins de Bourgogne. Technical branch of the BIVB, Member of the CRECEP.
(tast.) Animal-type aroma found in old wines made from the Pinot Noir grape.
Related words Aroma / Odour
Red wine that has been subjected to only a short maceration. The appellation Bourgogne Clairet exists but is little used.
Restoring the limpidity of a wine which has become cloudy by removing suspended solids (e.g. by filtration). Not to be confused with stabilisation which is designed to achieve durable limpidity.
Cleaning-up young grafts by suppressing roots which have formed on the scion rather than the stock.

Named and delimited parcel of vine-growing land with recognised and long-established properties which distinguish it from its neighbours and which are reflected in the wine grown on it. A key word and a key concept in Burgundy.

Offspring of a single parent, genetically identical with that parent and with each other. Clonal material used in viticulture is usually the product of multiplication by bud-grafting. Established clonal lines are identified by number. E.g. Pinot Noir #115, Chardonnay #96.

Walled vineyard.

(tast.) Said of a wine which has lost its primary aromas and not yet developed secondary aromas. (See Aroma)

(tast.) Spice aroma found in certain wines.
Co-operative : Co-operative wineries, of which there are some 20 in Burgundy (mostly in Saône-et-Loire) , vinify and commercialise the grapes produced by their member growers. Cellar :
(tast.) Wine lacking in refinement, delicacy.
(tast.) Agreeable aroma sometimes found in older red burgundies.
Related words Aroma / Odour
(tast.) Aroma found in older red burgundies which have been partly aged in new wood. (Cf.. Mocha)
Related words Aroma / Odour
(tast.) The colour (robe) of a wine is assessed in terms of hue (golden, ruby, cherry, etc) and intensity (deep, pale, etc.) Other factors relevant to the appearance of a wine are limpidity and brilliance.
Related words White, Cherry

= Colour

Related words Brown
(tast.) Wine lacking in character.

(tast.) With a rich and varied assortment of aromas.

(tast.) Highly desirable quality of rich, powerful wines made from controlled yields of perfectly matured grapes.

Barrel-maker. Since about 1980 the practice of maturing wines in barrel has had a resurgence of popularity with the result that there are now numerous cooperage firms operating in Burgundy.
Cork is generally used for stoppers in Burgundy. There are two sizes 45x24mm and 49x24mm. Composite corks are less common. The use of other materials is under study.

Wine-corks are made from the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber). The trees are cropped every 9-12 years. The main sources are the Mediterranean countries (Spain Morocco) and, more especially, Portugal.

(tast.) Wine which has a mouldy smell and taste due ostensibly to defective corks but sometimes caused by contamination from other sources such as improperly disinfected barrels.

Flower-drop. It is normal for a proportion of unfertilised vine-flowers to fall away without setting fruit but if this proportion exceeds 50%, yields will be down. (See also Millerandage)
Related words Abscission
Person whose function it is to buy wines or musts from the growers on behalf of a négociant.
Coordination des Recherches sur Chardonnay et Pinot Noir en Bourgogne. - Tel.: [0]3 80 39 69 80 - Fax: [0]3 80 39 69 81 - BP 27.877 21078 DIJON Cedex.


Literally "growth". Piece of ground producing wines of specific characteristics (cf climat), or the wines from those plots. Burgundy recognises two categories: Premier Cru and Grand Cru.

Mechanically bursting the skins of the grapes to release the pulp and juice.
Microscopic fungi responsible for diseases of the vine such as mildew and oïdium.

= Crystalline

Fraudulently mixing one wine with another. Not to be confused with legal blending.

Literally "vat-ful". A single "lot" of wine, i.e. grapes from a given plot harvested and vinified at one time.

Decanting a wine aerates it before serving. The wine is in contact with air for a short while – around a half-hour as any longer would damage the bouquet. Sometimes a young wine is poured into a carafe to oxygenate it and smooth out the tannins. But decanting reduces the reduction aromas in more mature wines. The ideal decanter is of medium diameter. See also reduction and bouquet. 

Decanting before drinking is not normally required unless the wine has acquired deposits during its time in bottle

Related words
Deep maturing and soil disinfection of ground prepared for planting. The exact composition of the fertiliser used for any given plot is determined by soil analisys. it will conclude an organic component such as farmyard manure to add humus to the soil, and a chemical fertiliser containig phosphorus, potash and magnesium. the fertiliser is worked in by a second trench ploughing.

(tast.) A mark of quality.

In Burgundy applied only to Crémant de Bourgogne with a sugar content of 35-50 g/l.

A physical impression, perceived in the mouth. A dense wine is one that is full and rich with content. One might even call it “chewy.” Density is found in wines with a high level of dry extract. See also chewy and dry extract.  

Removal of stalks from grape-bunches prior to vinification of red wines. If left in, the stalks would release harsh unripe tannins. In addition they lower acidity by virtue of their high potassium content.
In the making of Crémant de Bourgogne and other sparkling wines, removal of dead yeast cells after secondary fermentation in bottle.
(tast.) Meniscus – aspect of the wine's appearance to be noted during visual examiation.
Nowadays, the task is considerably simplified by the use of the specially adapted barrow, actually a brazier on wheels, which is simply moved along the roxs burning the cuttings as it goes and providing the worker with a companionable source of warmth.
Nowadays, the task is considerably simplified by the use of the specially adapted barrow, actually a brazier on wheels, which is simply moved along the roxs burning the cuttings as it goes and providing the worker with a companionable source of warmth.
Direction Régionale de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt – Bourgogne. 22, Bd. W. Churchill, BP 87.865, 21078 DIJON. Tel.: [0]3 80 39 30 00

(tast.) Wine lacking body and leaving a dry feeling at the back of the mouth. Might be due to over-long elevage, or simply mean the wine has reached the end of its life.


Opposite of sweet. Sugar content less than 2 g/l. Also used to describe a dried-out wine.

What remains of a wine after liquids have been separated out by evaporation - acids, tannins, sugar, etc. In burgundies dry matter content varies from 17-25 g/l in white wines to 20-30 g/l in reds.

(tast.) Describes the appearance of a wine. Wines tend naturally to become duller (less brilliant) with age, but the same effect may also be caused by bacterial contamination.
As a rule this work has to be completed before the worst of the cold sets in. The soil is drawn up against the lower part of the stocks. This provides them with protection against the frost and allows the same frost to break up the exposed siol betwenn the rows.
Related words Vine
Ecole des Vins de Bourgogne. The Burgundy Wine School is an offshoot of the BIVB and runs courses for the trade and general public. 6, Rue du 16ème Chasseur, 21200 BEAUNE. E-mail: Tel.: [0]3 80 25 35 10 - Fax: [0]3 80 26 35 11

(tast.) Class of aromas connected to heat, fire or cooking (toast, caramel, chocolate, coffee, charcoal, ... )

Related words Woody, Oak / Oaky
Family of compounds produced by combination of alcohol with an organic acid. Present in wines in considerable numbers and often aromatic.
Related words Acescent,acetic,
See Alcohol
Related words Acetic acid, Aldehyde

Describes a Crémant de Bourgogne whose sugar content is less than 6 g/l.

During maceration and vinification of red wines, colouring matter and aromas are extracted from the skins (and stalks if these are included).


another word for bud.
Wooden structure designed to hold the cap submerged during vatting. In Burgundy nowadays it is little used, cap-punching being preferred for extracting colour and tannin.
Virus disease of the vine transmitted by nematodes.
= Fault, defect
Related words Spoiled

(tast.) Describes a wine that is notably refined, delicate and subtle. Volnay, for example, is more feminine that Pommard, though the two are neighbours.

Chablis uses the "feuillette" of 132 litres (114 litres in the Côte d'Or and Saône-et-Loire). See Barrel capacities.
Technique for removing particulate matter from a liquid. Since if not carefully managed it may also remove desirable constituents, leaving the wine thin and characterless, it is not generally employed except for wines meant to be drunk young. (See also Limpidity)
Related words Adsorption, Asbestos
canes left on the stock after the first rough pruning are trimmed to the desired length.
brandy made by the distillation of wine. (Cf Marc de Bourgogne)
Clearing a wine of suspended solids by addition of a substance (e.g. albumen, bentonite, ... ) which attracts the particles to itself before settling out, leaving the clarified wine to be racked off. (See also Limpidity)
Related words Adsorption, Softening, Bentonite

(tast.) (1) The last impressions of taste and aroma left by the tasting process. (Cf Aftertaste) (2) The appearance of a wine as regards brilliance and limpidity, sometimes called "polish".

(tast.) Said of a wine that has body and sinew and good levels of tannin and acidity

Wine lacking in acidity and body.

(tast.) Wine lacking in structure, neither tannic nor acidic.
(tast.) Said of a wine lacking the structure which comes from well-balanced acidity and tannins.

= Flavour / taste

Related words Acidity, Acidulous
Disorder of wine produced by a rogue yeasts (Candida mycoderma, Mycoderma vini). See Sulphur
(tast.) Aromas which recall flowers. E.g. in white wines honeysuckle, acacia, mignonette; in red wines violet, peony.
(tast.) Flavour found in certain American grape varieties and their hybrids. Now rare.
Red wine removed from the vat by gravity (racking) leaving sediments behind, as opposed to wine obtained by pressing (press wine). (See also Limpidity, Marc)

(tast.) Said of young wines, slightly acid and well-fruited.

one of two fermentable sugars found in grapes, the other being glucose. They are produced in the grape by the action of natural enzymes on saccharose (cane or beet sugar).
(tast.) Fruit aromas may be classed as fresh (black cherry, morello cherry, blackcurrant, strawberry, raspberry, pear, blackberry, apricot, green apple, citrus, etc.) or dried, as with some fine old white burgundies, or candied as happens in well-aged wines or wines made from very ripe grapes.
Stage in the growth of the vine during which the fertilised pistils develop into tiny berrries.

(tast.) Rich in both structure and aromas.

(tast.) Said of wines that are rich, with good colour and a satisfying impact in the mouth.


(tast.) Animal-type aroma developed in red (Pinot Noir) burgundies after some years' ageing.
(tast.) A shade of red.

(tast.) Used of rich, meaty, well-structured and very pleasing wines .

(tast.) A not very agreeable aroma that can develop in wines that have been treated with sorbic acid to stabilise them. Unless sulphur dioxide is used at the same time, bacterial action will degrade the sorbic acid into undesirable substances which give off the geranium odour.
(tast.) Flower aroma found usually in white wines.

Groupe des Jeunes Professionnels de la Vigne. Young wine-growers' association. 24 bis, Rue du Lieutenant Dupuis, 21200 BEAUNE Cedex.

The third major constituent of wine in volume terms after water and alcohol. Level varies from 5 to 15 g/l in Burgundy wines. Wines from the Chardonnay grape contain more than those from the Aligoté, and good vintages more than not so good. Glycerol is a major source of mellowness in wines and gives them a "meaty" consistency..
(tast.) Colour towards which Chardonnay burgundies tend as they age.
(tast.) The colour towards which Chardonnay whites tend with ageing.
Scions of one of the "noble" grape varieties (Pinot noir, Chardonnay…) are grafted onto phylloxera-resistant stocks. Grafts may be prepared by hand or with the aid of a special machine.
Related words "Bouéchage"
Since the phylloxera, propagation of vines has been by grafting scions of the desired grape-variety onto stocks of American vine species which are immune to the punctures of the phylloxera bug. The joined sections are then immersed in sand or white-wood sawdust at a temperature of about 20° C for two to three weeks, after which union should be complete.
Most Burgundian varieties such as the Pinot Noir have bunches composed of rather small grapes.

In the three departments of wine-growing Burgundy, Yonne, Côte d'Or and Saône-et-Loire, the white grape varieties are: Chardonnay (46% of all vines, 87% of whites); Aligoté (6% of total, 11.5% of whites); Sauvignon (0.4% of total, 0.8% of whites); Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sacy (in the Yonne). Black grapes are: Pinot Noir (36% of total, 76% of blacks); Gamay (11% of total, 24% of blacks) mainly in the Mâconnais, César (at Irancy in the Yonne).

Related words Ampelography / Ampelology, , Authentic, Varietal flavour
(tast.) Aroma found in young white wines fermented at low temperatures.

(tast.) Describes a markedly acidic wine.

Plant disease caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea which attacks flowers and fruit. Affected fruit has to be eliminated by triage either in the field or on arrival at the vatting house. The fungus flourishes in humid conditions. (Cf Noble rot)
(tast.) Empyreumatic aroma often caused by elevage in new barrels.
(tast.) Mineral aroma peculiar to certain burgundies such as Pommard.
(tast.) Used to describe a wine where acidity and tannins are excessive. However, these tend to soften as the wine ages.
Related words Acerbic

(tast.) Describes a wine where the elements of mellowness, acidity and tannins are present in exactly the right proportions.

Harrowing has the same function as hoeing : destroying weeds and breaking-up crust formed on the topsoil. Nowadays, it serves above all to work fertilisers into the soil in places where there has been no earthing-up or ploughing-back
(tast.) Rough and astringent wine.
Related words Acidity, Tannic

(tast.) Rough and astringent wine.

Related words Acerbic, Astringent /Astringency, Tannins
Dates after which picking may begin are fixed each year by official decree from the Prefect's office and are known as "bans de vendange". They are determined on the strength of advice from the profession following checks on maturity such as those carried out by the BIVB's technicians. These are passed on to the relevant trade-regulatory bodies who in turn advise the Prefect.
(tast.) Delicate flower aroma found in young white wines.
Related words Aroma / Odour
(tast.) Desirable aroma in great white burgundies – Puligny-Montrachet, for example.
= Hazy, cloudy

(tast.) Wine rich in alcohol.

Related words Alcohol
(tast.) Describes not very agreeable flavours of vegetable origin: elder, grape stalks, greenery. May be due to lack of ripeness in the grapes or the presence of stalks in the must.

(tast.) During visual examination, highlights in the colour of the wine, together with brilliance may be an indicator of its acidity, age, or state of health.

(tast.) Thin, watery, lacking in structure.
(tast.) Noble aroma found in well-matured Chardonnay wines after some years in bottle.
(tast.) Refined and delicate aroma found in some white burgundies.
Related words Aroma / Odour
(tast.) Aroma found in the Pinot Noir after some years' ageing, related to other woodland aromas.
The use of hybrid grape varieties is forbidden by EU wine-making regulations.
(tast.) Up to a certain point, wines improve naturally with age: essentially the process consists in developing a harmonious balance between acid, tannins, and alcohol. The three should be of roughyl equal intensity in the mouth. Similarly, the aromas should come together to form a balanced whole – the wine's bouquet. Aromas and taste should also be in balance, i.e. have developed to an equal extent and in the same direction. This may fail to happen in a poor year.

Institut National des Appellations d'Origine. Organisation charged with formulating and enforcing AOC regulations in France.

Regional office:21000 DIJON.
17, Rue Sully, BP 86510, 21065 DIJON Cedex. Tel.: [0]3 80 69 30 00.

(tast.) Intensity of colour is a major quantitative element in the visual assessment of a wine. It has improved in Burgundy over the last 2 decades thanks to better control of maceration, stricter selection of plant material, and more controlled ripening.

Related words
(tast.) Used to describe aromatic notes suggesting the sea in certain wines.
(tast.) Floral note found in some white burgundies.
Institut Technique de la Vigne et du Vin – Centre Technique Interprofessionnel de la Vigne et du Vin. Member of CRECEP. 6, Rue du 16ème Chasseur, 21200 BEAUNE. Tel.: [0]3 80 26 23 83
(tast.) Delicate aroma found in some white burgundies.

Bottle of 3 litres capacity or (four 75cl bottles).

Siliceous mineral occurring as a whitish powder, used in filtration. Takes it name from the fossil remains of tiny marine organisms (diatoms) which are its main constituent.
Related words Adjuvant

The information contained on the labels of wine bottles is of two kinds: obligatory, and optional. Obligatory information includes appellation, identity of bottler, volume of contents, and alcohol content. Optional supplementary information may include vintage year, brand name, grape variety, or general information such as "oak-aged". The legislation in force also covers anything written on the bottle or its packaging (back label, neck label, cork, capsule, ... )

See Malolactic fermentation
Related words Malolactic fermentation, Malic acid, Organic acid, Sour-sweet
Technique of leaving grapes to become overripe before picking. Rare in Burgundy. Occasional instances in the Mâconnais.
Wooden supports enabling bottles to be piled on their sides during the making of Crémant de Bourgogne after the "liqueur de tirage" (containing sugars at around 22 g/l and yeasts) has been added to the base wine in the bottles to produce secondary fermentation. CO2 is generated and must have a minimum pressure of 3.5 bar. Higher pressures (4-6 bar) make for fine bubbles or "mousse". (See also Bubbles, Disgorging)
Related words Autolysis
Removal of leaves surrounding the grape bunches to admit light and air during maturation and make harvesting easier.
(tast.) Aroma of the animal class in Pinot Noir wines. Considered desirable in small doses but if excessive may signal the presence of undesirable yeasts (Bretanomyces).

See Limpidity

Related words Autolysis,

(tast.) Streaks of wine down the side of the tasting glass after the wine has been swirled around in it. Signals a wine of good body and hence good levels of alcohol, glycerol and macromolecules.

(tast.) Aroma found in young white wines.
Related words Aroma / Odour

Describes the ability of tastes and aromas in well-made wines to remain present in the mouth after the wine has been swallowed. (See also caudalie)

Lactic bacteria. Selected strains are made available to to wine-makers through Burgundian research labs.

(tast.) A wine that is generally weakly-coloured, low in alcohol and without real structure.

Process by which the tender shoots of the season's growth become woody in the autumn, making them better able to withstand the winter frosts.
Related words Sarments

= Limpid.

(tast.) Limpidity is a highly desirable visual quality in both red and white wines and is achieved by careful attention to hygiene during vinification and elevage as well as by separation of the wine from solids, coarse or fine, whether in suspension or not.
Sugar solution used to top up Crémant de Bourgogne after disgorging. Its composition (proportion of sugar) determines whther the wine is brut, demi-sec or sec.
Solution of yeasts and sugar added to base wine in the making of Crémant de Bourgogne to promote secondary fermentation in-bottle, which gives the wine its effervescence.
(tast.) Aroma found in Gamay and Pinot Noir wines after some years' ageing.

(tast.) Acidulous.

(tast.) A wine that is tender, likeable and supple.

An important process in the making of red wines by which the skins (and possibly stalks) release colouring matter, tannins, and aromatic precursor molecules. The process begins as soon as the crushed grapes are introduced to the vats. In Burgundy, the process is helped along during fermentation by regular cap-punching (once or twice a day) which re-mixes liquid and solid matter.
Related words Acerbic, Anthocyanins

Over-oxidised. Caused by too much aeration without the protection of sulphur dioxide.

Bottle containing 1.5 litres (i.e. two 75cl bottles).

Organic acid naturally present in the grape and other fruits. Transformed into lactic acid and CO2 by lactic bacteria. (See Fermentation)
Related words Malolactic fermentation, Lactic acid, Organic acid

) Malolactic fermentation takes place after alcoholic fermentation and is mediated by bacteria, not yeasts. During this process, malic acid is transformed into lactic acid, rendering the wine smoother and less acidic. It is a necessary stage for red wines and must take place before bottling or risk gas and turbidity in the bottle. For whites and rosés it is optional, depending on the type of wine aimed at.

Related words Lactic acid, Malic acid, Volatile acidity, Acidulous, Bacteria,
Brandy obtained by distillation of the "marc" or accumulated solids once fermentation is finished.
Double-magnum bottle. Capacity 3 litres, or four 75cl bottles.
Ripening of the grapes normally takes place during the month of August and the early part of September. During this period the BIVB checks the progress of maturation twice a week and passes the information on to the growers' syndicates and the INAO for an official decision on the best dates to begin the harvest (bans de vendange).
(tast.) Wine which has concluded its main development and is ready for drinking.

(tast.) Full-bodied wine with good balance between mellowness (from alcohol) and tannins.

Related words Balance
Giant bottle of 18 litres capacity (twenty-four 75cl bottles).

The impression of sweetness in a wine caused not by sugar but mainly by glycerol. Burgundy does not produce any wines defined as "moelleux" in EU legislation (i.e. wines containing 12-25 g/l of sugar).

Compounds of alcohol and sulphur dioxide (H2S), giving off a disagreeable odour of domestic gas. May occur during the early stages of elevage before the first racking.
Fungal infection of the green parts of the vine. By interfering with photosynthesis it may impede maturation.
Related words Aligoté
Describes the phenomenon by which flowers set fruit but the fruit remains small. May be caused by bad weather during the flowering period. The result is reduced yield, but since the dwarf berries do in fact ripen on the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, it may have the beneficial side-effect of increased concentration in the juice.

See Vintage

Related words Blind tasting

(tast.) Aromatic note found in white wines such as Chablis.

(tast.) Aroma met with in certain wines.
(tast.) Desirable torrefaction aroma found in Pinot Noir burgundies that have reached a certain age, often linked to new barrels.
(tast.) Aroma found in the Pinot Noir in Burgundy.
(tast.) Objectionable odour caused by improperly cleaned barrels or vats

(tast.) Describes the overall perception of the wine's flavours and consistency in the mouth, as "nose" describes the overall perceptions of aromas

Some strains of Chardonnay, especially those grown around Mâcon, can recall the aromas of the Muscat grape, in which case the Chardonnay is described as "muscaté".
(tast.) Aroma of the "animal" group found in Pinot Noir wines which have aged somewhat. Musk is a secretion from male deer.
Grape juice or pulp that has not yet fermented.
Related words Total acidity, Blending, Baumé hydrometer,

Bottles of 15 litres capacity (twenty 75 cl bottles).

Caused by the same organism as grey rot but different in its effects under certain weather conditions. Sometimes when found on the Chardonnay may contribute to the richness of the wine. Some Mâconnais wine makers make use of its properties in late-picked wines.

See bouquet

Related words Animal / Gamy

(tast.) Shade of colour.

Wooden vats and barrels in Burgundy are always made from oak, which imparts flavours of vanilla and torrefaction to the wine (mocha, toast, ... )
Related words Torrefaction, Empyreumatic
Holder of the Diplôme National d'Oenologue, awarded by the Institut Jules Guyot, a department of the University of Burgundy, Dijon. The oenologist is concerned mainly with the making, keeping and analysis of wines. Often responsible also for a firm's sales and marketing.
Wine-lover (especially of burgundies!)
(tast.) Examples are: cork, rubber, bad air, smoke, vat, tar, grass, iodine, yeasts, lees, metal, mould, bad egg, rancio and mouse, as well as medical, "cooked" or "dried out" smells.

This word describes a pleasant physical and tactile sensation in the mouth in contrast to a “hard” wine, one with too lively an acidity or one that has too much bite. See also fatty.


Office International de la Vigne et du Vin. Head office: 18, Rue d'Aguesseau, 75008 PARIS.

Having to do with the sense of smell.

Related words
Office National Interprofessionnel des Vins. Burgundy office: 12, Place de la République, 21000 DIJON

= opaque

(tast.) Wine with well-developed and expressive bouquet. Opposite of closed.

Among the natural constituents of wines are tartaric, succinic, lactic and malic (before malolactic fermentation) acids.
Related words Acetic acid, Lactic acid, Malic acid, Succinic acid, Tartaric acid

To do with sensory impressions. The wine-taster is subjecting the wine to "organoleptic examination".

Related words Sensory analysis

Chemical changes occurring as a result of contact with oxygen. Oxidation affects the aromatic properties of wine adversely if excessive (see maderised) but in the normal course of wine-making, a modest degree of oxygenation is beneficial, helping with the evolution of aromas (e.g. from fresh fruit to candied to cooked), and preventing the generation of hydrogen sulphide from the lees with its smell of rotten eggs.

Related words Aldehyde
Substances held in suspension in the wine, eventually forming sediments – yeasts, tartar crystals, colouring matter. Generally do no harm to the wine except in its visual aspect.
Related words Absorption, Adsorption
(tast.) Subtle aroma sometimes found in great white burgundies.
(tast.) Supreme accolade awarded to great red burgundies with a particularly rich and long finish.

The moment in a wine’s development where it demonstrates the perfect balance between its physical, aromatic and sensorial characteristics. When a wine reaches its peak, it has acquired its maximum aromatic richness and complexity in terms of all aroma stages – attack, evolution and finish. It has conserved sufficient acidity so that it is not “tired” and its tannins have “melted”.

(tast.) Subtle aroma sometimes found in great white burgundies.
Slightly effervescent wine.
(tast.) Spicy flavour present in numerous great red burgundies.

(tast.) Another word for length. Describes the ability of tastes and aromas in well-made wines to remain present in the mouth after the wine has been swallowed. (See also caudalie)

Related words Caudalie
Aphid of American origin which attacks the roots of European vines. At the end of the 19th century, France's vineyards were destroyed, starting in the south and eventually reaching Burgundy. Heat and chemical treatments failed but finally an answer was found in grafting European scions onto resistant American rootstocks.
(tast.) Aroma which may occur in young white wines.
Related words Aroma / Odour
year-old grafts are lifted from thenursery beds, their roots trimmed back to a few centimetres, and then planted-out in ground which has been trench-ploughed the previous summer, then smoothed with a harrow and stacked out with wooden or bamboo pegs to indicate the placement of the new plants.
Related words Preparing ground for new planting or for replanting
The young grafts are taken out of their rooting medium and planted in selected ground that has been previously prepared and fertilised. The nursery beds are then given constant attention-watering, hoeing, chemical applications.
(tast.) A well-balanced wine with no obvious faults.
Related words Balance
Ploughing-back reverses the earthing-up process of the previous autumn. The earth piled round the stocks is drawn back by the plough towards the space between the rows. Soil which has been broken up by the frost is spread out and aerated, fertiliseris worked in, sprouting weeds are uprooted, and insect larvae exposed to the cold.

Important family of constituents of wine including pigments (anthocyanins and flavones in red wines, flavones in white wines) and tannins. Polyphenols evolve during ageing under the influence of oxidation, Other polyphenols such as resveratrol are anti-oxidants and can help prevent cardio-vascular disorders if red wine is drunk regularly and in moderation (max. 2 glasses per day).

Related words Absorption, Anthocyanins
(tast.) Thin and lacking in character, as opposed to "rich".

(tast.) Chewy, generous, well-built, full-bodied, rich, meaty and with high-quality tannins.

This operation, recently mecanised, is carried out by a hydraulically-powered cutter frount-mounted on a stride-tractor. This chops up the upper portion of the unwanted canes due to be pruned away thus greatly easing the task of clearing way pruning debris.

Odourless substances which subsequently develop aromatic qualities through the action of enzymes. This phenomenon has recently been extensively studied by Burgundian research institutes (INRA, IUVV, ENESAD).

With the aid of a long-handled secateurs, the branch which has borne the current year's fruit is cut off low down on the stock, together with any unwanted shoots. The stock is then ready for the spring pruning.
Preparing ground for new planting or for replanting. Old stocks are grubbed up, together with as many as possible of their roots. The soil is broken up, cleaned of weeds and harrowed. A special trenching plough ("défonceuse") is used, pulled by either a tractor or a winch. In Burgundy, trenching is done to a depth of 0.4-0.5 metre.
Related words Planting-out
Preparing ground for new planting or for replanting. Old stocks are grubbed up, together with as many as possible of their roots. The soil is broken up, cleaned of weeds and harrowed. A special trenching plough ("défonceuse") is used, pulled by either a tractor or a winch. In Burgundy, trenching is done to a depth of 0.4-0.5 metre.
clean equipement in good repair is an absolute necessity for proper vinification. It cannot be left to take care of itself. Tubs, barrels, vats and casks are cleaned and soaked to make them watertight. Harvesting containers, pipework,presses, crushers and stemmers must likewise be scrupulously clean. all ironwork is treated with a spirit-based varnish or with lacquer to prevent rust and to avoid direct contact between yhe must and any metal surfaces. Pumps and motors are cleaned and setvices. hygiene has been simplified, nowadays, by the use of equipement made from plastic, enamel or stainless steel.
Extraction of wine from marcs (see limpidity), or of juice from crushed white grapes (see stalks).
The most common style in Burgundy is Guyot pruning whereby the vine starts the year cut back to a single cane with 6 buds and a spur with 2 buds. In some places (Santenay for example) the Cordon de Royat – a single cane with 4 spurs - is employed. (See also Cane)
Pulling-back of unruly new growth between the two middle training wires where it is tied-in with metal or plastic clips.
Grapes after crushing.
(tast.) Shade of colour found in young Gamay wines.
A key concept in Burgundy. The combined efforts of the entire wine industry are focused continuously on the goal of ever-higher quality in the wines themselves as well as in presentation, hygiene and health, etc. Quality monitoring operates at all stages of production and commercialisation. The BIVB has a department exclusively devoted to these concerns. Downstream quality monitoring through purchase and testing of Burgundy wines at point of sale has recently been put in place and is operating both in France and abroad..
(tast.) Aroma found is well-aged white wines.
See Limpidity
Related words Aeration,
(tast.) Delicate aroma found in certain red burgundies, especially those of the Côte de Nuits.
(tast.) Aroma occasionally found in red burgundies (from Gamay or Pinot Noir) which are over-acidic. (See also Gooseberry)

Reduction is a chemical reaction that is the opposite to oxidation. Like all “living” things, wine undergoes reactions while it is ageing out of the air (in reductive conditions). This is necessary for creating and stabilizing the color. The reductive reactions sometimes encourage the creation of “closed” aromas that can be removed through rapid aeration into a carafe or decanter. See also oxidation

Bottle of 4.5 litres capacity (five 75 cl bottles).

Removal of suckers and unwanted shoots growing on the old wood to prevent their competing with the fruit-bearing branches. this is done by hand. At the same time the vigneron will rub out the secondary buds which intefere with the food suplly to the main shoots and which, if allowed to develop, will rob the grapes of air and sunlight.

replacement of dead vines by setting young plants in holes prepared the previous autumn. The young plants are protected by a plastic sleeve against rabbits, frost and herbicides.

When tasting a wine, retronasal olfaction describes the detection and identification of odors when moving the wine around in one’s mouth. This movement makes the heaviest aromatic molecules become volatile. These are not spontaneously released in the glass and cannot be detected simply by smelling the wine. Retronasal olfaction allows the aromas to reach the nose’s olfactory mucus membrane through the upper part of the nostrils. 

(tast.) Full-bodied fleshy wine.

See Maturation
Related words Bouquet / Nose
Disorder which shows itself following malolactic fermentation as an oily consistency in the wine known as "graisse" which comes from the mucilaginous covering of certain lactic bacteria. Can be cured simply by agitating the wine (e.g. by pumping) and/or finings, and/or sulphur dioxide. Does not affect the taste of the wine.
Short maceration (6-18 hours) before alcoholic fermentation extracts some colour plus aromatics and precursor molecules from the skins. Grapes are then pressed and vinification proceeds as for white wines. ("Saignée" process.) Alternatively, colour may be extracted directly by pressing (i.e. without maceration), yielding what is know as "vin gris", lighter in colour and less aromatic. The best known Burgundian rosés are produced in Marsannay, which also produces red and white wines.
Odour of Hydrogen sulphide sometimes produced during elevage on lees by reactions involving yeasts. Can be corrected by controlled aeration.

(tast.) Describes wines which have just finished alcoholic fermentation, and which still contain suspended matter (yeasts) or sugar. Some villages celebrate a "fête du vin bourru. Nuits-Saint-Georges holds one in October.

Related words Alcoholic fermentation, Sugary, sweet, Turbid

(tast.) Said of a wine that has balance and body and no angular tannins

Removal of suckers, and/or unwanted buds or shoots.

(tast.) A lightish red tint, often the sign of healthy young wines with good acidity.

(tast.) A well-built wine but without any particular finesse.

The most important group of yeasts involved in alcoholic fermentation. Specific strains particularly suited to Burgundy wines are selected by the BIVB. Saccharomyces are used elsewhere in food preparation, for example in bread-making.

Bottle of 9 litres capacity (twelve 75cl bottles).

Prior to tasting, rinsing a glass with the wine to be tasted to ensure that it is not contaminated with other tastes or odours. The mouth may be given the same treatment for the same reason.


Suivi Aval de Qualité. Point-of-sale quality monitoring. (See Quality)
Year-old woody vine canes. Those removed by winter pruning make excellent fuel for barbecues. Try kebabs cooked in this way with a red or rosé Bourgogne.
Related words , Lignification, Cane-bending, Cane,
- A bottle may carry a special seal to indicate its provenance or other quality.
May be naturally seedless or contain undeveloped, non-viable seeds. Grapes normally contain four seeds, less frequently 3,2 or even 1.
See Organoleptic
Related words Organoleptic
(tast.) Of low persistence (2 to 4 caudalies).

(tast.) Said of a wine that is smooth and unctuous without rough tannins. A desirable quality in red burgundies, Volnay for example.

Describes chardonnay whites which have mellowness, body and good acid structure. The mellowness and acidity are guarantees of its keeping properties.

- (1) From the skins of black grapes come the colour and desirable tannins extracted during vatting. Something like 80% of aromas and their precursor molecules also derive from the skins. (2) Film formed on the unprotected surface of a wine by the action of oxydative yeasts.

(tast.) Aromatic nuance of the empyreumatic group. Frequently present in wines of the Saint-Bris appellation made from the Sauvignon grape.

A term applied to the tannins in a red wine. As a wine ages, the tannins integrate into the wine and their taste improves. They become rounded and softer, they ‘melt’ into the wine. This results in a less astringent wine. It particularly applies to big wines that are made to be drunk after lengthy ageing.

(tast.) With age, the tannins in red wines lose their harshness. Fining may also have the same effect.
Related words Fining
Improving the physical structure or nutritive properties of the soil, e.g. by working in compost or manure.
Disinfection has now become a general practice for soils contamined with virus infection. It is done with chemical sprays and can only be carried out on soils which have been thoroughly worked, well warmed by the sun, and are neither too wet nor too dry.
Some vineyards on sloping sites suffer from soil being washed downhill, gradually robbing the plants at the top of the slope to the benefit of those lower down. From time to time it is necessary to physically trans port the soil back to where it came from.
(tast.) Wine which contains abnormal quantities of both sugar and lactic and acetic acids. (Acetic bacteria may appear if fermentation is halted.)
Related words Acetic acid, Lactic acid, Acidity
Burgundy's own sparkling wine is Crémant de Bourgogne, made in white or rosé. There also exists a rare red sparkling burgundy, Bourgogne mousseux.

In the Bourgogne winegrowing region, sparkling AOC Crémant de Bourgogne wines are made in white and rosé versions. See also méthode traditionelle.

(tast.) Group of aromas including pepper, cinnamon, etc., found especially in red burgundies of real character.
= spoiled
Related words Fault, defect
Pruning systems distinguish between the renewal spurs which will furnish the next year's growth, and fruiting spurs which will bear this year's crop.
Service Régional de la Protection des Végétaux de Bourgogne. Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry concerned with plant health and particularly (in Burgundy) the health of the vines. Member of CRECEP. Burgundy office: 8, Rue Jacques Germain, BP 177, 21205 BEAUNE Cedex.
Operations such as fining aimed at fixing the wine's limpidity by removing inherently unstable ingredients such as proteins. Not to be confused with clarification whose purpose is to clear wines which have become cloudy.
The woody component of the grape bunches is sometimes left in while grapes destined for white wines are being pressed after crushing as they provide passages for the juice to run out. A varying proportion may be included in the vat during fermentation of red wines to boost extraction of tannins.
Related words Acerbic,
(tast.) Aroma sometimes found in fresh white wines.
Small quantity of fermenting must placed in the bottom of a vat before the main volume of must is introduced. The purpose is to get alcoholic fermentation off to a fast start.

Any wine which is not sparkling/effervescent.

(tast.) Quality found in a wine made from well-ripened grapes and rich in good tannins.

Di-basic organic acid synthesised by yeasts and present in all wines.
Related words Organic acid, Alcoholic fermentation, Yeasts
(tast.) Sometimes used to describe the sensation of mellowness but sugar has a drier mouth-feel than the sources of mellowness, notably glycerol..
Related words Rough / "bourru"
See Sulphur
Related words Acescent,acetic
Barrels and wooden vats are sterilised by burning sulphur candles in their interiors.
Related words Additive

Used in wine-growing and wine making as a sterilant. It takes three forms. (1) Powdered sulphur (flowers of sulphur) is used in fungicide sprays in the vineyards (sulfatage); (2) sulphur dioxide (SO2) is used to kill off undesirable organisms in the wine (sulfitage); (3) (mêchage).

See Sulphur

Related words Additive

(tast.) Pleasingly smooth and with an absence of rough tannins.

(tast.) Characteristic of a red wine, often produces a sensation of astringency.

Related words Harsh, Austere

Constituents of the wines contained in the grape-skins and (on occasion) stalks and belonging to the family of polyphenols. If oxidised, they form quinones, giving rise to casse. Tannins give young red wines their astringency (reaction between tannins and the proteins in saliva). With age, the tannins are softened by polymerisation.

Related words Absorption, Aggressive, Angular / Sharp / Spiky, Harsh


(tast.) Abnormal odour caused by the use of bitumen – now discontinued – in vineyard retaining walls. Certain red wines may sometimes present a nuance of wood-tar (creosote).

Tartar (calcium tartrate, potassium bi-tartrate) forms crystalline deposits at the bottom of the vat or barrels. The deposits are precipitated during alcoholic fermentation (alcohol decreases their solubility) and by lowered temperatures. Sometimes tartar is deposited in wines after bottling. It has no effect on the wine and needs only a little care when pouring.

Di-basic acid, the principal acid naturally present in wine.
Related words Organic acid, Vitis vinifera, Acidifier, Total acidity
Traditional Burgundian tasting cup. Usually of silver, its indented surface helped to assess the colour of a wine in the poor light of a candle-lit cellar. It was less well adapted to assessing aromas. Nowadays its use is mainly symbolic/ceremonial.
Wine-tasting employs the senses of sight, smell, taste and feel. (See Organoleptic)
Related words Acceptance

(tast.) The wine rises to the edge of the glass by capillary action and then falls back forming streaks called "tears". This phenomenon is most noticeable in wines with a high alcohol and/or glycerol content. (Cf. Legs)

Beads of sap which appear on the cut ends of the vine branches in early spring – the first sign of returning growth.

The word terroir, which may be translated, though inadequately, by some such phrase as "native soil" is actually a congeries of facts and ideas comprising the whole range of natural conditions (climate, geology, soil, drainage, landform, environment) plus human factors (technical skill, choice of tools and methods, economic conditions, and, above all, tradition based on a 2000-year history of wine-making).

Related words Authentic

(tast.) A wine may be said to have "thighs", i.e. be full and meaty, but the term is little used among professionals.

(tast.) Wine which is poor in extracted matter and colour.
"Vendange verte" consists in cuting out a proportionof the immaturate grape bunches on those stocks which are considered to be over-producing. The ideal moment for this operation being just prior to "véraison".
(tast.) Pale orangey-red hue of a wine approaching old-age.
Cutting back unwanted foliage by hand or machine to keep the passages clear between the rows of vines, allowing workers, machines and air to circulate freely.
(tast.) Empyreumatic aroma, usually a sign of elevage in new barrels.
(tast.) Aroma found in some old red burgundies.
(tast.) Empyreumatic aroma acquired from elevage in new barrels. (See Toast)
Related words Oak / Oaky
Total of acids contained in must or wine expressed in g/l of sulphuric acid equivalent or, in some other countries, tartaric acid.
Related words Must, Tartaric acid

Formerly known as "Champagne method". The method by which Crémant de Bourgogne is made differs in no important respect from that employed in the production of champagne.

(tast.) Aroma found in some top Chardonnay burgundies such as Corton Charlemagne.
Cloudy, hazy. Opposite of limpid.
Related words Rough / "bourru", Casse
cordon to the bottom support-wire. This is done either with wire ties or specila clips. The aim of this processis, by checking the flow of sap, to restrict growth and at the same time increase cropping.
Related words Cane
Tying-in of the branches of the trainig-wires, and tying together to the two central wires.

Characteristic of a wine that is a good representative of its terroir or climat. A word and a concept much used in Burgundy.


Union Générale des Syndicats Viticoles de la Côte d'Or. 134, Route de Dijon, 21200 BEAUNE.

(tast.) Wine whose main characteristics (acidity, mellowness, tannins) differ overmuch in intensity, or wine which is dominated by a single ingredient and so lacks harmony.

Located in Dijon, various departments of the University are engaged in teaching and research into wine and related topics (economy, history, ... ) Member of CRECEP

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(tast.) Desirable aroma found in certain burgundies, especially those matured in new wood, which contains vanillic acid.

(tast.) Taste or aroma specific to grape variety.

Related words Aroma / Odour, Grape variety
Applied to the processes whichj occur during the making of red and rosé wines (i.e. maceration and fermentation).
Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure. Until 2002 Burgundy had just one wine of this class – Sauvignon de Saint-Bris. But in 2003 it was promoted to an AOC with the appellation Saint-Bris (regional appellation).
Stage in the development of the grapes when the immature berries, red or white. begin to take on their proper colour.
Unripe grapes or juice from unripe grapes. Sometimes used in cooking or, since the 18th century, in the preparation of Dijon mustard.
Related words "Bouéchage", Earthing-up
Transformation of grapes into wine.
Related words Acerbic, White, Wine warehouse
"Vintage", properly speaking is the English version of the French word "vendange" meaning "grape-harvest" and is sometimes used in this sense. But more often it is used to translate the French word "millésime" meaning "year of harvest". So, for example, "a good vintage" may mean a good year, a good harvest, or good wine from that year/harvest.
Related words Blending

Powerfully-structured wine such as a young Pommard. An example of its opposite, a feminine wine, would be Volnay, with its suppler tannins.

Scientific name for the grape vine.
Related words Tartaric acid
Measure of the degradation of wine by acetic bacteria. Acetic acid is the main component of the wine's volatile acid content. Legal maximum 0.98 g/l H2SO4 equivalent for red wines, 0.88 g/l for whites.
Related words Acetic acid, Alcoholic fermentation, Malolactic fermentation, Bacteria
(tast.) Watery wines may be the result of excessive yield.
Related words Yield

(tast.) A top class wine fully expressing the characteristics of its terroir.

White wines may be made from white grapes or from white-juiced black grapes (provided there is no contact with the black skins during maceration or vinification). Older white wines tend towards an amber hue..
Related words Colour, Vinification
Current legislation defines wine as "exclusively the product of partial or complete fermentation of fresh grapes or the juice of fresh grapes".
Related words Absorption
=Wine warehouse
Related words Vinification
See Oaky
Related words Empyreumatic, Barrel
See Fermentation
Related words Succinic acid, Amino-acids, Alcohol, Autolysis
For each appellation, maximum base yield is defined by legislation in terms of hl/ha. Subject to certain conditions, this base yield may be augmented in a given year by between 15% and 20%. The decision to do this depends on the conditions obtaining that year and the grower has to obtain permission. Base yields in Burgundy are as follows: - Grand Crus: red 35-37 hl/ha; white 40-64 hl/ha - Premier crus: red 40-45 hl/ha; white 45-68 hl/ha - Village appellations: red 40-45 hl/ha; white 45-7- hl/ha - Regional appellations: red 50-69 hl/ha; white 55-75 hl/ha Further details from INAO website www.inao,
Related words Watery.
Scientific study of wine-making and of the development of wines up to the moment of consumption.