Why are your wines fizzy after opening?

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The light sparkle one notices immediately after opening my wines is natural carbonic gas which is present in the wine, even after alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are completely finished. I would simply suggest to decant in order for the gas to disappear and the wine to settle, or better still, serve and decant at the same time in Burgundy glasses if you are not in a hurry.

Depending on the type of wine and the mooncycle at the moment of opening the bottle, this “fizzy sensation”can be less or a bit stronger. Contadino and Susucaru® which are wines bottled early for maintaining the fruitiness and crispness, might have a stronger presence of CO2. MunJebel® and Magma® will show less carbon gas as these wines have a longer decanting/élevage cycle before bottling.

Where does this gas come from?
I produce wines without any chemicals added, throughout the complete process including bottling as I search maximum sensorial expression of terroir. Therefore it is important for me to protect my wines from over-oxidizing by using the natural elements which the transformation/vinification process produces.

Besides the natural chemical components of wine which protect against oxidation (alcohol, tannins, acidity and especially minerals) there is also the natural carbon oxide gas which develops naturally during the process of fermentation. The carbon oxide gas being heavier than air, settles on top of the wine and gives a physical protection against oxidation.
After alcoholic and malolactic fermentations are ended, in the mass of wine remains always a part of carbonic gas trapped for a few months, until it eventually surfaces and disappears.

Bottling and racking are the steps in the process of wine production which can seriously damage wine, and so I search especially in these moments to protect my wines as much as possible. Therefore I choose the bottling periods in moments where the wines in the tanks still contain some residual carbon oxide gas after having completed their malolactic fermentation. Consequently there will always be some residual carbon oxide gas in the bottled wines, giving this bit of extra protection during the aging process.

May 1st. 2012

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