Tout savoir sur le vin de saignée

Everything you need to know about saignée wine

To produce rosé wine, the winemaker has the choice between 3 winemaking techniques, to obtain a direct pressing rosé, a maceration rosé or a saignée rosé . Let's focus particularly on this third method of making wine, and find out what it consists of.

Bloodletting: medical practice or winemaking technique?

Perhaps the word "bleeding" reminds you of the ancient medicinal techniques, used in Antiquity, which consisted of taking the patient's blood to evacuate the disease. But then, what does this have to do with rosé wines? Well, indeed, the bleeding method also adapts to the world of wine, and in particular rosé wines, since the winemaker also takes a sample.

In this context, the sampling concerns the grape juice placed in maceration in a vat, with the aim of producing red wine. The winemaker then extracts part of this juice , to place it in alcoholic fermentation , while the rest of the vat continues to macerate in order to produce red wine. It is then said that he is bleeding.

The benefits of rosé de saignée

To produce saignée wine , the skin of black grapes remains in contact with the grape juice for a few hours. During this skin maceration time, the juice absorbs the coloring pigments from the skins of the red grapes, but also the aromas and tannins. Logically, a rosé de saignée is therefore both more colorful, more aromatic and more tannic than other rosé wines.

These characteristics make it a wine with good aging potential, and it moves away from the traditional aperitif rosé wine. It is then much more suitable to accompany gourmet dishes, from starters to cheese.

Other methods of vinification of rosé wines

Contrary to what many people think, rosé is not a mixture of red and white wines. And if the bleeding rosé method no longer holds any secrets for you, there are still 2 other ways of making rosé , giving wines with unique typicity.

  • Rosé by direct pressing : as with white wines, the red grapes are immediately pressed after harvest. The contact time between the must and the juice is very short, which gives pressed rosés that are much paler and lighter than saignée wines;
  • Maceration rosé : maceration rosé is a saignée rosé whose entire vat is intended for the production of rosé. The juice is therefore not taken from a vat of red, and the maceration is stopped after a few hours. Maceration rosés therefore have an intense color and powerful aromas.

Good to know: there is also blended rosé , for which the winemaker blends a maceration rosé and a saignée rosé.

How to recognize a rosé de saignée?

Today, it is not obligatory to mention the winemaking method on the label of a bottle of wine. It is therefore difficult to know, by eye or tasting, whether a rosé is a saignée wine or not. On the other hand, more and more winegrowers are choosing to mention it on their wine bottles, in order to stand out with a wine of character .

Generally speaking, we can assume that a rosé with a pale color does not come from bleeding, unlike rosés with a beautiful raspberry or redcurrant color , for example.

Also read: Differences between press, maceration and bleeding rosé wine

Making rosé wine is much more complex than it seems, and bleeding is one of the methods for obtaining an intense pink color and a beautiful aromatic palette. It is then possible, during a wine tasting, to learn to distinguish this type of rosé from saignée , but this remains a difficult exercise.

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