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Best Practices for Making Red Wines After Flash Détente

Last Updated: 12/2023

Applies to: Winemakers working with red grapes treated by flash détente (thermovinification) looking to overcome challenges like high solids levels, color instability, and lack of structure and mouthfeel.

WHAT IS FLASH DÉTENTE?

Flash détente is a winemaking process that uses high temperature, vacuum, and rapid cooling to quickly extract color and flavor from grapes. The process minimizes skin contact time and the temperature reached during the process inactivates enzymes and volatilizes undesirable compounds.

This makes flash détente process a popular choice for wineries looking to:

  • Produce wine from botrytis or rot-infected fruit (flash détente inactivates laccase)
  • Reduce herbaceous and green characteristics (flash détente volatilizes and removes methoxypyrazines)
  • Produce wine from smoke-exposed fruit (flash détente minimizes skin contact time and volatilizes some smoke-associated compounds)

Some wineries will also use flash détente on fruit that does not have any particular quality concerns in order to create interesting blending options which can amplify fruitiness and enhance wine mouthfeel.

While flash détente can help address some potential quality concerns, the process brings with it some special considerations, including:

  • Extremely high solids levels
  • Potential color instability
  • Potential lack of structure and mouthfeel

Below, we outline our best practices and recommendations for overcoming these challenges when making red wines from flashed grapes.

BEST PRACTICES FOR MAKING RED WINES AFTER FLASH DÉTENTE:

BEST PRACTICEEXPLANATIONRECOMMENDATION

Use enzymes prior to flash détente

Enzymes will help increase yield (when added prior to Flash Détente) and will aid in clarification.If the must will spend more than 50 minutes in the holding tank, use RAPIDASE THERMOFLASH at 3-5g/hL (temperature tolerant up to 154°F)

RAPIDASE THERMOFLASHcan also be added after flash détente to aid with clarification
Adjust turbidity <200 NTU

The flash détente process can produce extremely high solids levels. This level of solids can result in undesirably fast fermentation speeds as well as the production of reductive and vegetal aromas.

Clarify via centrifugation, filtration, flotation, decanting etc..

Click here for our best practices for juice clarification via flotation
Use tannins during fermentationThe flash détente process rapidly extracts anthocyanins. However, because skin and seed contact is limited, tannin extraction is disproportionately low compared to a typical red wine fermentation. Tannins are needed early on in fermentation to complex with anthocyanin and form stable color compounds, therefore the addition of enological tannins is highly recommended.FT ROUGEand/orFT ROUGE SOFT at 20-50 g/hL in conjunction with FT COLORMAX (10-30 g/hL) and/or FULLCOLOR (20-40 g/hL) at 1/3 sugar depletion for maximum color stabilization

UVA'TAN (50-400 g/hL) at 1/3 sugar depletion or end of fermentation for catechin contribution
Inoculate with yeastTo prevent spontaneous fermentationFor fruit with underripe characteristics:

IVC-GRE, CSM,BDX, CVRP

To avoid cooked characteristics:
ICV-D21,ICV-D80, CLOS, CVRP

If the potential alcohol is above 16%, consider inoculating with greater than 25 g/hL yeast.
Employ a complete

fermentation nutrition plan
• Measure YAN
• Use a rehydration nutrient
• Use fermentation nutrients
Flash détente wines have a tendency to ferment rapidly, causing yeast stress and the production of off-aromas. Encourage a steady fermentation rate by providing essential nutrients and organic nitrogen.Click here for assistance crafting a nutrition plan

(choosing nutrients, dosages, and timing of additions)
Temperature controlTemperature management will control fermentation rate and encourage production of desirable aromas and flavors.Keep the must at 68˚F (maximum) to promote fruit driven aromas and maintain healthy yeast.
Clarify again post fermentationWines produced from flash détente juice tend to still have high solids post-fermentation and additional clarification may be necessary. It is also advised to remove the fermented wine off the lees as soon as possible (to avoid sulfide off-odors and vegetal notes).For the best results, if available, centrifuge the wine immediately after completion of alcoholic fermentation.
If not, use any of the following to encourage settling and then rack:

GELOCOLLE(Silica) at 20-100 mL/hL
INOCOLLE(Gelatin) at 30-100 mL/hL
Bentonite
Use yeast derivative nutrientsYeast polysaccharides can also help with color and aromatic stability and improve mouthfeel.OPTI-RED (30 g/hL),
OPTI-MUM RED (20-40 g/hL), NOBLESSE (30 g/hL)
Initiate MLFChoose strains noted for mouthfeel enhancementStrains for mouthfeel: ALPHA, VP41, SILKA, PN4