- Information on the revolutionary new Sparkling Wine from Lingenfelder Estate Winery -
Méthode champenoise is the production process for premium sparkling wine and - of course - champagne.
This process has not changed much in the last 200 years.
In Champagne there are 3 stages at which crystal sugar is added.
The base wine is CHAPTALIZED to increase alcoholic strength - crystal sugar is added.
In order to start the TIRAGE, the secondary fermentation which creates the "fizz" in the wine, crystal sugar is added.
After fermentation and once the yeast deposit has been removed ( the dégorgement ) a crystal sugar solution ( the dosage ) is added to balance the flavour.
The use of crystal sugar which is made from beet or cane sugar is a recommended and well established additive in northern European winemaking regions - and nothing wrong with that.
However, in Germany the grape growing and winemaking philosophy is one of "non-intervention" i.e. un-chaptalized wines are always considered to be purer and therefore of higher quality.
The "natural" wine as a direct reflection of its site, or terroir ( Lage ) is the ultimate goal.
Therefore the quality wines of higher distinction ( Praedikatswein ), from Kabinett upwards, are not allowed to be chaptalized.
This approach, where really the VINE, the Fruit and the Vineyards are the centre of attention, when applied to sparkling wine, calls for a complete absence of crystal sugar in the winemaking.
This is precisely the case in the "making" of "SATYR".
After a first successful small experiment with 1979 Riesling Spätlese from our Goldberg vineyard, I did larger trial bottlings from the 1983, 1984 and 1985 vintage. Finally in 1994 I felt confident enough to produce a small "commercial" quantity.
A '94 Riesling Kabinett base wine ( obviously un-chaptalized ) from our Goldberg was selected.
A year later, during the harvest of 1995, freshly pressed Riesling grape juice of Spätlese quality was added, the wine was bottled, and the tirage began.
After 5 years on the yeast, the wine was disgorged and Riesling Spätlese juice from the 2000 vintage was added as dosage.
Using the grape as the only sugar source in the production process I am taking the sparkling wine closer to the vine, bringing it back to its original roots - back to nature !
It seems this way of producing sparkling wine is absolutely unique - a world première.
SATYR - the Lingenfelder Riesling sparkling wine - is therefore a unique product, inevitably available in limited quantities only