Total malolactic, a considered choice

17 October 2021

There is some perplexity about the choice of carrying out the total malolactic fermentation on the Franciacorta base wines, namely the Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noirs that make up the cuvées of the renowned classic method from Brescia.

“The distrust is understandable, it is a process that historically has been managed almost exclusively for specific vinifications (those in red, in particular) and never thought of for the sparkling wine bases”, says Alessandro Schiavi, oenologist and co-owner of Mirabella. “There was a lack of tools and knowledge to take advantage of this fermentation, which moreover occurs spontaneously in nature after the alcoholic one if the temperature of the vats is not promptly lowered”.

“By increasing the heat in the fermentation tanks, in our case concrete vats, the malic acid transforms into lactic acid and the wine is rounder, more expressive. From the gustatory point of view, the malic is reminiscent of the fresh, almost unripe fruit; on the contrary, lactic acid gives aromatic complexity, materiality, ‘mouth width’ typical of ripe fruit. The Franciacortas are more ready and stable, but just as long-lived; the acid imprint, which requires a sweet dosage to rebalance, will give way to a soft and balanced whole “.

The oenologist continues: “Total malolactic fermentation is a constant of Franciacorta Mirabella. Some precautions are needed, such as grapes with important acidity – which is why we slightly anticipate the harvest – and very delicate pressing cycles. The result? Wines with a recognizable style and healthier, as the greater stability allows lowering the sulfites. In the end, leaving the wine free to express itself with malolactic fermentation, we are only following its natural evolutionary path“.

Vasche in cemento datate 1942