Ackerman is a major producer of sparkling wine in the Loire Valley. Now the company launches its first bubbly chenin blanc without added sulphur (Saumur Brut l’Esprit nature, 11.50 euros on site). But that does not mean that these wines automatically fit into the “natural wine” category. Certainly, the absence of sulphur is important to the “natural wine” movement.
But Ackerman’s winemaker produces these wines with the help of various technical tools, like cooling system, inert gases, filtration and electro-dialysis for stabilization, and others. The must and the wine are at all times protected from oxygen. During the harvest a specific yeast is added to the grapes to avoid unwanted bacteria to develop. The aim is to get a completely stable and flawless wine.
Many “natural” wine producers would question these production aids. But on the other hand, they may instead be forced to use sulphur, albeit in small quantities. It is not easy to be “natural”.
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