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

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Bourgogne wines Glossary

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,
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