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Yeasty / Brioche Driven Wines

Wines described as "yeasty" or "brioche-driven" often exhibit aromas and flavors reminiscent of yeast or baked goods, specifically brioche, a type of bread rich in butter and eggs. These characteristics are associated with certain winemaking techniques and processes.

In addition to brioche, yeasty wines may also exhibit aromas and flavors reminiscent of baked bread, pastry, or even croissant. These elements contribute to the overall complexity of the wine.

  1. Autolysis: Autolysis is the process by which yeast cells break down, releasing compounds into the wine. This process contributes to the development of flavors associated with yeast, including brioche.
  2. Extended Lees Contact or Sur Lie Aging: The primary contributor to yeasty or brioche notes in wine is extended contact with the lees. Lees are the dead yeast cells that settle at the bottom of the fermentation vessel or aging barrel after fermentation. Winemakers can choose to leave the wine in contact with these lees for an extended period, enhancing the complexity and introducing yeast-related characteristics. This practice is common in sparkling wines and some white wines.
  3. Champagne and Sparkling Wines: Yeasty or brioche-driven characteristics are often prominent in certain sparkling wines, particularly Champagne. The traditional method of producing sparkling wine involves aging the wine on its lees for an extended period, contributing to the distinctive yeasty and toasty notes.

  4. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir: Chardonnay, especially in regions like Burgundy or Champagne, and Pinot Noir, particularly in sparkling wines, are grape varieties commonly associated with yeasty or brioche-driven characteristics. These grape varieties are frequently used in traditional method sparkling wine production.

  5. Secondary Fermentation: Wines that undergo a second fermentation in the bottle, such as those made using the traditional method for sparkling wines, often develop pronounced yeasty and brioche-driven characteristics.

  6. Age-Worthiness: The yeasty or brioche notes in certain wines can enhance their age-worthiness. Sparkling wines and some high-quality still wines that undergo extended lees aging can evolve gracefully over time.

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