Wine Glossary C

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

Carbonic Maceration: This refers to the process of fermentation as a whole and is characterized by uncrushed grapes that are placed in a carbon dioxide atmosphere. In essence, what will happen is that the weight of the upper layers of grapes contained in a vat will eventually break the skins of the grapes that are located in the lowest layer. The wine that one gets from this particular process is partly a product of carbonic maceration and partly the traditional fermentation of juice.

Cask Number: this is an insignificant term that is used for special wines, as in The Finishing Vineyard Wine Cellars Cask 45, but this is most often applied to ordinary wines.

Cedary: signifies the fragrance of cedar wood that is often connected with mature Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Cabernet blends that are aged in American or French oak.

Cellared By: This is a term used by those bottlers who did not produced the wine that they are bottling. This only says that the wine was not made at the same winery where it was bottled. It could be that the this indicates that the wine was purchased from another supplier.

Chaptalization: this is the introduction of more sugar to the juice of the wine either before or during fermentation. Its primary purpose is to enhance the sugar levels in otherwise underripe grapes and it can also boost alcohol levels in the later wines. This process is commonly practiced in European countries that are situated in the north, where the colder climates essentially keep grapes from ripening. This practice is however not allowed in southern Europe which includes the whole country of Italy and the south of France

Chewy: this is the description for full-bodied, rich, tannic wines.

Cigar Box: this is another way that they describe the cedary aroma of wines.

Clean: this describes the sensation of wine being fresh on the palate and not having any off-taste. This does not necesarily mean that the wine is of good quality.

Clone: this is a group of vines which originate from a sole individual plant which is propagated asexually from a single origin. These clones are essentially selected for the special characteristics that the grapes and wines that they yield like the adaptability to growing conditions, adaptability and productivity.

Closed: this is the term used for wines which have a concentrated flavor but a bit dull in aroma or flavor.

Charmat: Mass production method for sparkling wine. Indicates the wines are fermented in large stainless steel tanks and later drawn off into the bottle under pressure. Also known as the "bulk process." See also méthode champenoise.

Cloudiness: pertains to the deficiency of clarity to the eye which also implies something bad for the particular wine with the exception of old wines with sediment. Some reasons for this might be protein instability, re-fermentation in the bottle in younger wines or yeast spoilage.

Cloying: used to describe the type of ultra-sweet or sugary wines that are deficient in balance which is normally provided by acid, alcohol, bitterness or intense flavor.

Coarse: usually pertains to the texture of the wine, and in particular, excess oak or tannin in it. This is also used to signify sparkling wines which have a lot of harsh bubbles in the mix.

Cold Stabilization: one of the clarification techniques wherein a wine’s temperature is decreased up to 32° F. This, in effect, causes the tartrates and insoluble solids to precipitate.

Complexity: This is considered as an aspect in all great wines as well as many very good ones. This is about the combination of richness, focus, harmony, flavor intensity, balance, depth and finesse

Corked: this is used to describe a type of wine that is off-putting or musty. This type of wine is often reminiscent of moldy-newspaper flavor and scent. This is further accentuated by a dry aftertaste that is brought about by a tainted cork.

Crush: this is the season of harvesting when the grapes are picked and crushed.

Cuvee: A blend of different wines or maybe even a special lot of wine.