Does pressed wine get mixed back in with main batch ?

Watching Roy Pipers video on the last wine which is made by pressing the skins at the end.

What was not answered or maybe I just missed It was what happened to the pressed wine, Roy mentioned that it added body to the Cabernet that was needed but as they had already filled the barrel’s then it was not clear. Did they leave space to go back and top off with the pressed wine ?

Press wine is only used based on quality and the atmospheres that you press at, at lower atmospheres you can get juice as good as free run, as you press harder you get more harsh qualities from skins and seeds.

For many companies press is the main batch.

Its often aged separately and then a case by case decision is made whether to blend it in at some point. It has more intense flavor and aroma but that comes at the expense of more tannin. As Kris says the later pressing has more of both. Its hard to generalize because things like vintage, vineyard and house style all play a role in the decision. For me personally, I don’t press very hard so I just use it as topping wine.

And it’s not just a New World thing. Press wine has long been used in Bordeaux, though as others have said, it’s a case-by-case, vintage-by-vintage decision.

This article has lot of interesting details for individual chateaux. The levels are sometimes much higher than I realized: e.g., in 1996, 15-16% press wine in final blend of Margaux, 13% for Beycheville. On the other hand, it’s 6% max at Cos d’Estournel in general.

As mentioned above it depends. Press wine will have higher tannin and pH. I also think press wine is a bigger issue now that it was due to the trend away from basket presses towards bladder and membrane presses that are preprogrammed computer models for desired wine style/juice yield/varietal/etc. With a basket press I think its much easier to make a press cut. With bladder or membrane presses usually free run (drained by gravity or pumping all juice you get get from skins with out pressing at all) and press juice are often kept separate. Basket presses also have lower gal/ton numbers as they are not as capable of high pressure and the cap is not broken up 2-4 times during the cycle. Free run is also pretty clean from a sediment stand point so if unfiltered wine is the goal that is one way to head that direction. Basket pressed wine is much cleaner than bladder/membrane press wine.

Its my experience that when you separate them they don’t taste as good as if they are integrated earlier than right before bottling. Lots of wineries use press wine for topping and or to make up for racking loss to keep barrels full.

I also think wines with a goal of high percentage of new oak during aging free run works better. Free run often lacks the extra tannin I am look for specifically in PN to be aged in a low or no percentage of new oak. You can use much more new oak on a wine with out overdoing the tannin on free run vs. press. If any whole clusters are used in the fermentation the tannin will be higher weather free run or light press, or hard press.

No, that’s not what I understood from Roy’s video blog. I thnk he implied that the press wine is put in another barrel, and later blended as needed into the final juice.

That’s interesting. That kind of suggests that it’s done for expediency/convenience rather than style. I guess if you anticipate some press addition later when you make the original wine, that’s fine. But if you didn’t, it seems like you could alter the structure for the sake of topping up.

Interesting. Thanks.

For what it’s worth, I don’t recall ever hearing about the use of press wine in Burgundy, but that may well just be ignorance on my part.

I forgot to add not all parts are always used and often the de-classified/second label wines that get less new oak are heavy with press wine and some do bulk it out as well. Press wine with its higher tannin and pH usually needs less new oak and is drinkable younger and can be made for less money.

You are correct you don’t hear as much about press wine in Burgundy. What you do hear is hl/hectare so my guess is more tonnage with less volume is likely little to no pressing, where as low tonnage and higher juice yields is likely pressed wine. You would have to now a lot about a block to figure that out though. I believe in champagne you are only allowed 125 gallons per ton which is about all you can get from a basket press the rest is called rubbish or something like that.