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Blending - Signature of Medot and Brda Terroir

Blending - Signature of Medot and Brda Terroir

Champagnes and sparkling wines with their lively charm transform moments into unforgettable experiences, leaving a lasting impression in memory. The production of these sparkling masterpieces involves a unique set of challenges, with wine blending process playing a crucial role in achieving the desired elegance, complexity, and consistency. Welcome to the enchanting world of creating sparkling wines through the art of tipization.

Grapes for bubbles

The basic grape varieties used in the production of Champagnes with geographical origin in France are precisely prescribed. These are primarily Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Arbane, and Petit Meslier also allowed. Other sparkling wines produced around the world may use different varieties, always with the aim of creating the best foundation for the desired sparkling wine through blending, as each variety contributes different characteristics.

Medot's story is based on pioneering the production of sparkling wines using the classic method based on Rebula, with which Zvonimir Simčič experimented in the 1980s and with skillful blending created a formula that still represents the recognizable taste of Medot's sparkling wines today. As a great Champagne lover and connoisseur of world wines, he knew that the characteristics of Rebula represented exceptional potential for creating sparkling wines. Medot sparkling wines are made with a blend of Rebula, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Each of these varieties contributes different characteristics. Rebula adds minerality, higher acidity, finesse is sought with it, Chardonnay adds elegance, lightness, and nice roundness, while Pinot Noir adds backbone, structure, and fruity character to the wine.

Wine is a work of art!

Medot's oenologist Luka Ribolica emphasizes that the blending process is marked by three important steps:

1. The right moment for harvesting our grapes

»Because we are in Brda, we want to add the special touch of our region, which we get with Rebula, with it we make the sparkling wine special. Rebula is a very demanding variety. A lot of knowledge is needed to decide on the harvest at the right moment, preserving the acidity necessary, achieving the desired level of sugar, while capturing the right ripeness that will contribute the desired fruity note. Choosing the right moment for harvesting is very important, if we miss it, Rebula can very quickly become bitter, which is a consequence of common phenols, polyphenols. Only at the right ripeness can we produce the base wine that gives us the desired characteristics, finesse, minerality, and expresses the character of the region - all that makes the wine special. For sparkling wines, grapes are harvested at technological maturity, meaning higher acidity and lower sugars and lower pH. Harvest time varies for each variety, usually starting in mid-August with Chardonnay, followed by Pinot Noir, then Rebula at the end of August, beginning of September. After harvest, fermentation follows, which lasts two to three weeks, resulting in base wine, which then rests on fine lees until January. That's when we come to the moment of decision-making through tasting for blending."

2. Wine tasting in the cellar

In the cellar, analyses are carried out for each tank separately, as each tank contains wine of a different grape variety; until blending, the wine is separate. Our oenologists sensory assess each tank and make notes. "We evaluate wines based on aromatics, what we perceive on the nose, whether it's fruity or very expressive, which fruity notes we perceive. Then we taste them - in doing so, we pursue minerality, freshness, the structure of the wine itself, whether it's richer or broader, horizontal, vertical, whether it has more pronounced acidity, moderate acidity, long or short finish. Based on these assessments, we begin the next phase - blending of wine for our sparkling wines," explains Luka Ribolica.

Before the bubbles start their dance, base wines serve as the foundation for sparkling wines. Winemakers select base wines that have the ideal balance of acidity, fruitiness, and structure. These wines form the basis on which, sparkling wine is created with the help of the gentle process of secondary fermentation.

3. The magic of blending

All wines in the tanks are excellent, of higher quality, but have different characteristics. Well-equiped with notes from the cellar, our oenologists, exceptional connoisseurs of the terroir and Rebula, Darinko Ribolica and Luka Ribolica, our French winemaker with outstanding experience from Champagne, Pierre-Yves Bournerias, a long-time collaborator responsible for the vineyards, Aleksander Kocina, and Simon Simčič with a team of Domačija Medot, sit at the tasting table for blending. Blending sparkling wines is an art that requires precision and a deep understanding of the characteristics of each grape variety. They carefully select and blend base wines from different varieties, vineyards, and vintages to create a blend that reflects the desired style. The goal is to achieve flawless integration of flavors, aromas, and textures that will charm the taste buds.

Luka Ribolica explained the details:

Is the vintage suitable for Millesime

First, we start by selecting if there is a vintage that could reflect the vintage sparkling wine. The first step is, therefore, blending of Millesime. We always have a planned idea on how it should be, what we would like to emphasize in it. Based on the analytics we received from the laboratory and based on sensory descriptions, we choose the wines with which we start composing Millesime. We prepare several different samples with different percentages of wine from different tanks. Whether it is Chardonnay, Rebula, or Pinot Noir depends on which wine impressed us the most that year, which variety showed the most characteristic features that we want to achieve with Millesime. In doing so, we always take into account that this is sparkling wine that will lie longest on the lees, so it must have the potential for aging for several years.

Brutally extra, but in harmony

Next is the blending for extra brut. Here we seek freshness, verticality, a truly brutally dry sparkling wine with pronounced acidity. Despite the fact that this sparkling wine will be extremely dry, we are very careful about its harmony, as this characteristics is the signature of Medot. We are looking for sparkling wine that suits a specific customer, consumer, lover of extremely dry sparkling wines.

Gentle rosé

Then, rosé is blended, mostly from Pinot Noir. In rosé, we seek fruitiness, pleasant freshness, structure, and that 'umami' taste.

48 - blending according to the recipe of the father of Rebula

Finally, there is the blending of Medot brut 48 sparkling wine, in which we always include all three varieties in the already known percentages, as determined by Zvonimir Simčič: 60 Rebuls, 20 Chardonnay, 20 Pinot Noir.

Solera - Medot's signature

During blending for extra brut, rosé, and brut 48 sparkling wines, the final touch is given with the solera, our reserve, which is composed of all three grape varieties from already nine vintages, as it has been included in the blending process since 2015. First, a basic blend is made from the current vintages, and then various percentages of the solera are added to this. Medot's solera is special because it combines all three varieties, thus three different profiles, and multiple vintages. It is an intriguing, complex wine with which we seek consistency in our sparkling wines, where we do not want to express the vintage, ensuring that there are no significant deviations between vintages and that the quality is consistent. However, the solera always adds its stamp to the wine, representing a unique signature of Medot.

Wine is a work of art!

After the blending process is completed, all accepted decisions are transferred to further work in the cellar. Wines from different tanks are blended, then the wine is stabilized, filtered, and prepared for bottling and secondary fermentation. The sparkling wines will then mature deep in the cellar for several years on fine lees. During this time, a vertical tasting of all vintages in the cellar is conducted annually. The Medot team gathers around the table once again and carefully monitors the direction in which the sparkling wines are maturing. "We monitor the evolution of taste and aroma. We seek harmony, balance; during this time, we can also react if necessary. When we feel the sparkling wine is perfect, when the aroma and taste are balanced, when we achieve the desired complexity, with fruitiness on one side and aging tertiary notes on the other, we decide to release the wine to the market. At that point, the wine is prepared for disgorging, and we prepare the expedition liqueur. At Medot, we are advocates of expedition liqueur, which helps us achieve the harmony and perfection of our sparkling wines," Luka Ribolica concludes.

The production of sparkling wine is a harmonious blend of tradition, innovation, and artistic expression. With careful selection and blending of grape varieties, the magic of secondary fermentation, and nuances obtained through aging on lees, winemakers create bubbly elixirs that adorn our glasses during moments of celebration and joy.

Wine is a work of art!
Wine is a work of art!