A STORY BEHIND A WINE: Saurus Pinot Noir Tardío
Bodega Familia Schroeder’s specialty is the making of Pinot Noir wines. Our winery produces eight different labels from this variety, among them a late harvest wine which is a true rarity in the market.
Making a Late Harvest Pinot Noir is not possible every year, as weather must be on your side. It is not easy for grapes to get in good condition to the period of harvest, because the fruit must be overly ripe, after being left on the vine for an extended amount of time. For a classic wine, the usual time of harvest for this varietal is around the first fortnight of February. To obtain a Late Harvest, however, we must wait until May, and this marks the end of the harvest season.
“You have to choose very well the vineyard, taking into account the climate outlook for the year: it is necessary to avoid frost damage and, in case of rain, prevent excessively aggressive rot in the vine. And the vineyard must be where you can see it every day; the idea is to follow its development closely. In my case, I visit it practically every other day, looking about and tasting the grapes, checking the irrigation, which must be moderate, keeping an eye on the vineyard to see if it needs leaf removal,” says Lic. Leonardo Puppato, Bodega Familia Schroeder’s Enologist. The yield per hectare is very low: between 300 and 350cc of wine for each kilo of grapes. When making a normal wine, with each kilo you obtain a bottle of 750ml, which means that you get half the normal yield. That explains the cost and the bottle size – Saurus Pinot Noir Tardío is offered in bottles of 500ml.
It requires a highly controlled process to allow for a quite long alcoholic fermentation, during which yeasts die due to alcoholic intoxication – with 16 degrees, or more in some cases, which is considered a high alcoholic graduation. The residual sugar –75 to 80 grams of totally natural sugar– is the very same sweetness content of that grape concentrated and raisined on the vine.