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What is lees, and how does it affect the ageing process of wine?


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Kinnek Knowledge Team

Lees refers to the yeast and yeast residuals that are left over in the wine after the fermentation process. The process of racking is typically used to remove some or all of these residuals. During racking, wine is transferred from one container to another, and this process can be repeated multiple times in the aging process.

Separating the wine from lees is often desirable for many wines, as the lees adds a flavor of its own. However, some white wines such as Chardonnays and Muscadets are aged for a time with the lees in tact, as the flavor imparted by the lees can be desirable.

Wine with longer exposure to lees is said to have more body and a heavier mouthfeel than wine with less exposure, though this is highly dependent on grape and regional variations.

Nov 27, 2013

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