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Winemaking at Malene

Using many of the same winemaking techniques that have guided Provençal winemakers for centuries, Malene Rosé employs whole cluster pressing, long, cool ferments and sur lies aging in both French oak casks and stainless steel.

Whole-Cluster Pressing

Our grapes are hand-picked and sorted and received at the winery in the cool early morning of harvest. Much as he would with a high-quality white wine, Winemaker Fintan “Fin” du Fresne bypasses crushing and instead presses the fruit in whole clusters to minimize skin contact. He uses a very gentle press program similar to what is used in Champagne, minimizing color extraction from the grape skins to produce a very pale colored rosé.

Long, Cool Fermentations

The grapes are fermented using long, cool ferments to enhance aromatic freshness and pronounced varietal character. For complexity, Fin ferments and ages the wine in three different types of vessels: a 1200 gallon French oak Foudre (40%), stainless steel (30%) and oak puncheons (30%). “The Foudre is shaped like a barrel but it’s twenty times larger,” he says. “It provides the positive aspect of the lees contact we get from a barrel while the temperature control and thick wood allows the retention of crisp, fresh fruit flavors.” Meanwhile, the inert stainless steel allows for the full expression of the wine’s purity and focus, and the puncheons – large format neutral French oak barrels – provide positive lees contact without adding oak character.

Sur Lies Aging

Prior to blending the wines are aged for six months on the lees in their respective vessels, increasing their complexity and mouthfeel. We stir the lees twice weekly during fermentation to impart creaminess, pulling back to twice monthly during aging so as not to detract from the purity of the fruit.

Winemaker Finn at Malene