Whole Cluster Inclusion in Chambourcin Fermentations (2016)

This study examines the impact of whole cluster inclusion on the phenolic and sensory characteristics of Chambourcin wines. Chambourcin grapes sourced from the same block were either completely destemmed and lightly crushed (0% inclusion), 70% were destemmed and lightly crushed (30% inclusion), or 50% were destemmed and lightly crushed (50% inclusion). All other treatments between lots were the same. Increasing the amount of whole cluster inclusion tended to lower the ethanol content. Whole cluster inclusion tended to lower the color intensity and increase the hue, and this effect was more pronounced for higher levels of inclusion. All phenolic indices were lowered by whole cluster inclusion, but did not differ much between 30% and 50% inclusion. This was most noticeable with monomeric and total anthocyanins, as well as malvidin glucoside. Overall, whole cluster inclusion tended to increase Herbaceous/Green character in the wines. Descriptions of these wines were mixed, and most trends were weak and varied from tasting to tasting. No major preference trends could be seen across tastings. This study suggests that whole cluster inclusion could be a viable stylistic tool for Chambourcin wines, but much more work is needed to elucidate what impacts these kinds of treatments have on wine quality.

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