Grapes are hand picked when perfectly ripe. They are entirely de-stemmed to avoid the incorporation of overtly harsh or green tannins. Fermentation is traditional, in open concrete tanks, following a period of three days of pre-fermentary maceration at temperatures between 12 and 15°C. Alcoholic fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature of 28 to 30°C. Caps are punched down twice daily during fermentation, then just once a day during vatting, which can last for up to 20 days.
Manual cap-punching produces gentle and gradual extraction that is perfectly adapted to the syrah grape. It can be compared to slow cooking. This is far from high-tech, but it provides the best way of revealing a terroir’s potential. Delas Frères considers that all the poetry of wine is to be found in the vineyard. Following de-vatting and pressing, malolactic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels for all the top wines at Delas.
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The finest white wines are made in a classical fashion. Pneumatic crushing, followed by cold settling for a 24 to 48 hour period, add a touch of elegance to the wines. The must is then poured into barrels where malo-lactic fermentation takes place in new or one year-old barrels.