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A
Acescence
Acidity
Agreeable
Amertume
Ampélographie
Animal
Appellation (AOC)
Arôme
Assemblage
Astringency
Ageing potential
Icone croix
Acescence

Similar to sourness, indicating a wine which is past its prime. Caused by the presence of acetic bacteria, which increase the wine’s acidity. To avoid this phenomenon, wine must be protected from contact with air.

Acidity

Mostly a natural product of the vine’s metabolism (with several forms of acid present in the grapes: tartric, malic and succinic). Beneath a certain threshold, acidity imbues a wine with a sense of freshness and liveliness, contributing to the balance of flavour. However excessive acidity can be a problem, making the wine seem sharp and insufficiently mature. On the other hand a lack of acidity can make a wine seem limp and lacking in character.

Agreeable

With no obvious defects.

Amertume

Bitterness and astringency are two complementary sensations. Bitterness is often found in young red wines which are rich in tannins. Bitterness can also be a defect caused by a bacterial imbalance in the malolactic fermentation phase.

Ampélographie

The study of grape varieties: their form, their physical properties and their origins.

Animal

Describes a family of aromas reminiscent of animals: musk, venison, leather etc. Aromas of this kind are usually found in old red wines. These are aromas which emerge and develop in the bottle as the wine ages.

Appellation (AOC)

AOC wines meet a strict set of production criteria established by law and monitored by the INAO (National Institution for Designated Appellations of Origin and Quality). These strict production criteria cover the vine-tending practices and grape varieties used, the location of the vines, the conditions in which the wines are aged and more. Wines are subjected to taste tests before AOC status is granted.

Arôme

L’ensemble des principes odorants des vins jeunes (contrairement au bouquet, acquis lors du vieillissement). Il existe trois types d'arômes :

Les arômes primaires ou arômes de cépage préexistent dans le raisin et donnent au vin son odeur caractéristique. Par exemple, le Cabernet-Sauvignon, aux senteurs de poivron vert. Ils évoquent en général des odeurs fleuries, fruitées ou végétales.

Les arômes secondaires, ou arômes de fermentation sont produits par les levures durant la fermentation alcoolique et malolactique. Ils évoquent la banane, le vernis à ongle, le bonbon anglais... mais également la bougie, la cire, le froment, la brioche...ou encore le beurre frais ou la crème fraîche.

Les arômes tertiaires concernent le bouquet, odeur que développe un vin lors de son vieillissement en bouteille en milieu réducteur (sans oxygène). Par exemple, la truffe, le chocolat, le moka, la noix de coco, les arômes de pâtisserie (cake, miel, pâte d’amande) ainsi que les notes animales (fourrure, cuir, musc).

Assemblage

Composition d’un vin unique à partir de plusieurs cuvées vinifiées séparément en fonction du sol, du cépage, de l’âge des vignes etc. L’assemblage, qui s’effectue avant l’élevage, est le gage du talent de l’œnologue ou du maître de chais, il se distingue du coupage, qui, lui, a une connotation péjorative.

Astringency

A certain roughness in the mouth, experienced with wines which are packed with young tannins that have not yet mellowed.

Ageing potential

A wine’s capacity to improve with age

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