Actively involved in vine and wine research, Château Montrose is publishing a three-year scientific study on the valorization of press wine, conducted in partnership with consultant oenologist and expert on the subject, Éric Boissenot, the ISVV* and the EPLEFPA*. This initial study focuses on the characterization of press wine production models and will be pursued, in 2023, by an ISVV doctoral student.
Press wine: a key factor in the balance of great wines
Strangely enough, though winemakers take the utmost care when producing quality press wine and considering its appropriate incorporation into the blend, and despite the obvious significance of the matter, very few studies focus on managing the production of red press wine whereas the pressing of white wines is widely documented.
According to Vincent Decup – technical director of Château Montrose – the key question is how to obtain high-quality press wine and optimize its use?
The real issue is in managing the pressing of the pomace, then selecting the best lots and finally deciding which proportion to incorporate in the final blend to enhance it.
The research, conducted during the vintages of 2016, 2017 and 2018, focused on grapes from around 40 plots planted with two emblematic Bordeaux grape varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The quantitative and qualitative comparisons of the press batches resulted in an official publication by the ISVV, which shows the need for a clear understanding of vineyard potential and the implementation of a strict methodology for the optimization of press wine.
Collaboration with experts
In order to conduct this research, Château Montrose, together with technical director Vincent Decup, who believes in constantly improving the quality of the wines, joined forces with experts Stéphanie Marchand, assistant professor at the ISVV, Alain Martinet, agricultural division manager of the EPLEFPA*, and Éric Boissenot, doctor of oenology. Eric Boissenot, well known for his scientific research on working respectfully with wine, is a staunch advocate of gentle extraction and press wine, which he considers to be a major issue in terms of quality.
Research embedded in the estate’s DNA
This research on the valorization of press wine is part of a whole host of studies and experiments that have been launched since the creation of the Saint-Estèphe classed growth’s R&D division, led by Vincent Decup. The aim is to provide a clear vision for the future, which is an integral part of the values of Montrose, guiding the estate’s winemaking, cultural and environmental practices on a daily basis. The second part of the study is scheduled to begin in January 2023 with a PhD thesis project conducted within the framework of a CIFRE* agreement, by Margot Larose, a doctoral student at the ISVV, in order to place the spotlight on the still little-known qualitative aspects of press wine.
*ISVV: Institute of Vine and Wine Science.
*EPLEFPA: Local Public Learning and Vocational Training Establishment in the Farming Sector – Bordeaux.* CIFRE: Industrial Agreements for Training through Research, which build collaboration between public research laboratories and industries, promotethe employment of doctors in firms and contribute towards the innovation process of companies based in France.