Saturday, September 19, 2015


CA (Sp.) Short for Cooperativa Agrícola and other
titles denoting a local or regional cooperative.
CANBERRA DOCTOR An easterly evening wind
from the coast that helps to cool Canberra,
although it virtually blows itself out by the time it
reaches Braidwood or Bungendore.
Albany Doctor and Fremantle Doctor.
CANOPY MANAGEMENT The vine’s canopy is
comprised of the collective arrangement of its
shoots, leaves, and fruit. Ideally, a canopy will have
most of its leaves well-exposed to sunlight, as this
promotes fruit ripening through photosynthesis,
and air circulation will be good, which provides the
least favorable environmental conditions for the
development of fungal diseases. References to an
excessive or too-vigorous canopy imply that the ratio
of leaves to fruit is too high, causing herbaceous
flavors in the wines produced from such vines.
CANTINA (It.) Winery.
CANTINA SOCIALE (It.) A growers cooperative.
CAP The manta or layer of skins that rises to the
top of the vat during cuvaison.
CARBONATE A salt or ester of carbonic acid. Active
or free carbonates increase the alkalinity of soil and
are thus found in limestone soils, such as chalk.
CARBONIC ACID The correct term for carbon
dioxide (CO2) when it dissolves in the water
content of wine (to become H2CO3). Although
sometimes referred to as a volatile acid, it is held
in equilibrium with the gas in its dissolved state
and cannot be isolated in its pure form.
CARBONIC GAS Synonymous with carbon dioxide
(CO2), this gas is naturally produced during the
fermentation process (when the sugar is converted
into almost equal parts of alcohol and carbonic
gas). It is normally allowed to escape during
fermentation, although a tiny amount will always
be present in its dissolved form (carbonic acid) in
any wine, even a still one; otherwise, it would
taste dull, flat, and lifeless. If the gas is prevented
from escaping, the wine becomes sparkling.
CARBONIC MACERATION The English term for
Macération carbonique.
CASEIN A milk protein sometimes used for fining.
CASK-FERMENTED The same as barrel-fermented.
CASSIS (Fr.) Literally “blackcurrant.” If “cassis” is
used by winetasters in preference to “blackcurrant,”
it probably implies a richer, more concentrated,
and viscous character.
CEDARWOOD A purely subjective word applied
to a particular bouquet associated with the bottlematurity
of a wine previously stored or fermented
in wood, usually oak.
CELLAR DOOR A sales point at a winery. This is
often a sophisticated retail operation in the New
World, with sales of wine accessories, books, and
T-shirts as well as the wines. For small growers in
the Old World, however, purchases are more-oftenthan-
not conducted in the producer’s kitchen!
CENTRIFUGAL FILTRATION Not filtration in the
pure sense, but a process in which unwanted
matter is separated from wine or grape juice
by so-called “centrifugal force.”
CÉPAGE (Fr.) Literally “grape variety,” this is
sometimes used on the label immediately prior to the
variety, while in the plural format (cépages) it is used
to refer to the varietal recipe of a particular cuvée.
CERAMIC FILTRATION An ultrafine depth filtration
that utilizes perlite.
CHAI, CHAIS (Fr.) Building(s) used for wine storage.
CHAPTALIZATION The addition of sugar to fresh
grape juice in order to raise a wine’s alcoholic
potential. Theoretically, it takes 1.7 kilograms of
sugar per hectoliter (4 pounds per 27 gallons) of
wine to raise its alcoholic strength by 1 percent, but
red wines actually require two kilograms (41⁄2
pounds) to allow for evaporation during the
remontage. The term is named after Antoine
Chaptal, a brilliant chemist and technocrat who
served under Napoleon as minister of the interior
from 1800 to 1805 and instructed winegrowers on
the advantages of adding sugar at pressing time.
CHARM This is a subjective term; if a wine charms,
it appeals without attracting in an obvious fashion.
CHARMAT METHOD Invented in 1907 by Eugène
Charmat, this is a bulk-production method of
making inexpensive sparkling wine through a
natural second fermentation inside a sealed vat.
Also known as the Tank Method or Cuve Close.
CHÂTEAU (Fr.) Literally “castle” or “stately home.”
Whereas many château-bottled wines do actually
come from magnificent buildings that could truly be
described as châteaux, many are modest one-story
villas; some no more than functional cuveries; and
a few merely tin sheds! The legal connotation is
the same as for any domaine-bottled wine.
CHEESY This is a characteristic element in the
bouquet of a very old Champagne, although other
wines that have an extended contact with their
lees—possibly those that have not been racked or
filtered—may also possess it. It is probably caused
by the production during fermentation of a very
small amount of butyric acid that may later
develop into an ester called ethyl butyrate.
CHEWY An extreme qualification of meaty.
CHIP-BUDDING A method of propagating vines
in which a vine bud with a tiny wedge-shape of
phloem (live bark) and xylem (inner wood) is
inserted into a rootstock in an existing root system.
CHLOROSIS A vine disorder caused by mineral
imbalance (too much active lime; not enough iron
or magnesium) that is often called “green sickness.”
CHOCOLATY,CHOCOLATE-BOX This is a subjective
term often used to describe the odor and flavor of
Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir wines.
Sometimes “chocolate-box” is used to describe
the bouquet of fairly mature Bordeaux. The fruity
character of a wine may also be described as
chocolaty in wines with a pH above 3.6.
CHRISTMAS CAKE A more intense version of the
tasting term fruitcake.
CIGAR-BOX A subjective term often applied to a
certain complex bouquet in wines that have been
matured in oak and have received good bottle-age
(usually used in relation to red Bordeaux).
CITROUS This describes aromas and flavors of far
greater complexity than mere lemony can suggest.
CLAIRET (Fr.) A wine that falls somewhere
between a dark rosé and a light red wine.
CLARET An English term for a red Bordeaux wine.
Etymologically, it has the same roots as the French
term clairet.
CLASSIC, CLASSY These are subjective words to
convey an obvious impression of quality. They are
applied to wines that not only portray the correct
characteristics for their type and origin, but also
possess the finesse and style of top-quality wines.
CLASSICO (It.) This term may be used only for
wines produced in the historic, or classic, area of
an appellation—usually a small, hilly area at the
center of a DOC.
CLEAN A straightforward term applied to any wine
devoid of unwanted or unnatural undertones of
aroma and flavor.
CLIMAT (Fr.) A single plot of land with its own
name, located within a specific vineyard.
CLONE A vine that has developed differently to
other vines of the same variety due to a process of selection—either natural, as in the case of a vine
adapting to local conditions, or artificial.
CUVAISON (Fr.) The fermentation period in redwine
production, during which the juice is kept
in contact with its skins.
CUVE (Fr.) Vat; a cuve should not be confused
with cuvée.
CUVE CLOSE (Fr.) A method of producing
sparkling wine that involves a second fermentation
in a vat. Cuve Close is synonymous with the
Charmat Method or Tank Method.
CUVÉE (Fr.) This originally meant the wine of one
cuve or vat, but now refers to a specific blend or
product which, in current commercial terms, will
be from several vats.
CUVERIE, CUVIER (Fr.) The room or building
housing the fermenting vats (cuves).
CV (Fr.) Short for Coopérative de Vignerons
and various other titles that denote a local or
Regional cooperative.
CLOS (Fr.) Synonymous with climat, except that
this plot of land is, or was, enclosed by walls.
CLOSED Refers to the nose or palate of a wine that
fails to show much character (or “open”). It implies
the wine has some qualities—even if “hidden”—that
should open up as the wine develops in bottle.
CLOVES Often part of the complex bouquet found
on a wine fermented or matured in oak, the aroma
of cloves is actually caused by eugenic acid, which
is created during the toasting of oak barrels.
CLOYING Describes the sickly and sticky character
of a poor sweet wine, where the finish is heavy
and often unclean.
COARSE Applies to a “rough and ready” wine, not
necessarily unpleasant but certainly not fine.
Coates claims that a wine remains at its peak for
as long as it took to arrive at this point in its
maturity. This law is infinitely variable according
to both the wine and individual consumers. If you
find a specific wine to your liking in, say, its fifth
month, year, or decade, it will remain within the
bounds of this taste profile until its tenth month,
year, or decade. If you think about it, however,
“Coates Law of Maturity” has a logic—and whereas
I do not let it influence my optimal drinking
recommendations in this book, I have yet to find
an anomaly serious enough to debunk the theory.
COCONUTTY-OAK Coconutty aromas are
produced by various wood lactones that are most
commonly found in American oak.
COMMERCIAL A commercial wine is blended to a
widely acceptable formula. At its worst it may be
bland and inoffensive, at its best it will be fruity,
quaffable, and uncomplicated.
COMPACT FRUIT This term suggests a good weight
of fruit with a correct balance of tannin (if red) and
acidity that is presented on the nose and palate in
a distinct manner that is opposite to open-knit.
COMPLETE Refers to a wine that has everything
(fruit, tannin, acidity, depth, length, and so on)
and thus feels satisfying in the mouth.
COMPLEXITY An overworked word that refers
to many different nuances of smell or taste.
Great wines in their youth may have a certain
complexity, but it is only with maturity in bottle
that a wine will achieve its full potential in terms
of complexity.
CONCOCTION Usually a derogatory term, but
can be used in a positive sense for a medley of
flavors in an inexpensive wine.
COOKED Similar to baked, but may also imply
the addition of grape concentrate to the wine
during fermentation.
COOL-FERMENTED An obviously cool-fermented
wine is very fresh, with simple aromas of apples,
pears, and bananas.
CORKED Originally believed to be the result of
penicillin or aspergillus mold in the cork, but such
infections are extremely rare, while the “corked”
phenomenon is relatively common (believed to
affect up to 8 percent of all wines). Various
chloroanisoles are now deemed responsible, with
2,4,6-trichloroanisole (commonly referred to as
TCA) the main culprit. Initially thought to be
exclusively the unwanted by-product of sterilizing
corks with chlorine, TCA has since been identified
at source in cork oak trees, in oak barrels, wooden
pallets, and wooden roofs. Other compounds that
may also be responsible include geosmin, which
gives beets their earthy taste and can be found
in reservoir water.
CORRECT This word describes a wine with all the
correct characteristics for its type and origin, but
not necessarily an exciting wine.
CÔTE, CÔTES (Fr.) Slope(s) or hillside(s) of one
contiguous slope or hill.
COTEAUX (Fr.) Slopes and hillsides in a hilly area,
not contiguous.
COULURE (Fr.) A physiological disorder of the
vine that occurs as a result of alternating periods
of warm and cold, dry and wet conditions after
bud-break. If this culminates in a flowering during
which the weather is too sunny, the sap rushes
past the embryo bunches to the shoot-tips, causing
a vigorous growth of foliage, but denying the
clusters an adequate supply of essential nutrients.
The barely formed berries thus dry up and drop
to the ground.
COUPAGE (Fr.) Blending by cutting one wine
with another.
CREAMY A subjective term used to convey the
impression of a creamy flavor that may be
indicative of the variety of grape or method of
vinification. I tend to use this word in connection
with the fruitiness or oakiness of a wine. Dr. Tony
Jordan believes that creaminess in a sparkling
wine is probably a combination of the finesse of
the mousse (created by the most minuscule of
bubbles and their slow release) and an
understated malolactic influence, the combined
effect of which is picked up at the back of the
throat on the finish of the wine, and this is most
apparent in Chardonnay-based wines.
CREAMY-OAK A more subtle, lower-key version of
the vanilla-oak character that is most probably
derived from wood lactones during maturation in
small oak barrels.
CRÉMANT (Fr.) Although traditionally ascribed to
a Champagne with a low-pressure and a soft,
creamy mousse, this term has now been phased
out in Champagne as part of the bargain struck
with other producers of French sparkling wines
who have agreed to drop the term Méthode
Champenoise. In return they have been
exclusively permitted to use this old Champagne
term to create their own appellations, such as
Crémant de Bourgogne and Crémant d’Alsace.
CRISP A clean wine, with good acidity showing
on the finish, yielding a refreshing, clean taste.
CROSS A vine that has been propagated by
crossing two or more varieties within the same
species (within Vitis vinifera for example). In
contrast, a hybrid is a cross between two or more
varieties from more than one species.
CROSSFLOW FILTRATION A relatively new, highspeed
form of microfiltration in which the wine
flows across (not through), a membrane filter, thus
avoiding build-up.
CROWN-CAP The common beer-bottle cap, which is
now widely used as the temporary closure while a
sparkling wine undergoes its second fermentation.
CRUSH Grapes are often crushed so that the juice
can macerate in the skins prior to and during
fermentation—to obtain color for red wines, and
aromatic qualities for white wines. In the US and
Australia, “the crush” is synonymous with the harvest
in general, and the crushing/pressing in particular.
CRYPTOGAMIC Refers to a fungus-based disease
such as gray rot.
CRU or CRÛ (Fr.) Literally means growth, as in
Cru Bourgeois or Cru Classé.
CRU BOURGEOIS (Fr.) A nonclassified growth of
the Médoc.
CRU CLASSÉ (Fr.) An officially classified French
CS (It.) Short for Cantina Sociale and other titles
denoting a local or regional cooperative.
CULTIVAR A term used mainly in South Africa for
a cultivated variety of wine grape.
CUT 1. In blending, a wine of a specific character
may be used to cut (mix with) a wine dominated
by an opposite quality. This can range from a
bland wine that is cut by a small quantity of very
acidic wine, to a white wine that is cut with a little
red wine to make a rosé, as in pink Champagne.
The most severe form of cutting is also called
stretching and involves diluting wine with water,
an illegal practice. 2. A cut in pressing terms is a
point at which the quality of juice changes, the
term deriving from the days of old vertical presses
when the lid of the press would be lifted and
workers would cut up the compacted mass with
sharp spades, piling it in the middle so that more
juice may be extracted. 3. In matching food and
wine, a wine with high acidity may be used to cut
(balance) the organoleptic effect of grease from a
grilled or fried dish or an oily fish, just as the
effervescence of a fine sparkling wine cuts the
creamy texture of certain soups and sauces.


Post a Comment