Wine of the Month: Love Bite
Introducing February's wine of the month, the appropriately named Love Bite from Nouveau Wine.
Light, juicy and perfect for chilling (we love it served straight from the fridge), Love Bite is made from 100% Cinsault, and is a blend of old block vines as well as younger vines. It’s fermented in stainless steel to give freshness and undergoes a process called Carbonic Maceration which gives its signature flavour of boiled sweets (we promise, it tastes amazing). Alongside this, it features red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry and a sour cranberry note. It has light tannin but is smooth on the palate and an overall easy-drinker.
Made using low-innervation farming, this means hand-harvested grapes, sustainable farming practices and spontaneous fermentation - Nouveau leave the wild yeasts that already exist on the grapes and in the winery work their magic.
With flavours of red berries, candied sweets and saline, we love this vegan wine served chilled from the fridge.
To celebrate we spoke to the head Nouveau Wine winemaker in South Africa to find out more about how this fresh red wine is produced.
What does a winemaker do?
A winemaker simply guides the product to its final destination. We want to make something unique and have people experience what you have experienced during the growing of the grapes and the making of the wine - all those flavours that you get for when you open up a bottle of wine.
What is low-intervention winemaking?
Low-intervention winemaking is where the winemaker doesn’t do too much to the wine, they simply make sure that everything runs smoothly but doesn’t interfere. There are no additional additives added to the wine and the bare minimum amount of sulphites or none at all. There’s no filtration - you don't take anything out of the wine that's not supposed to be there.
What vineyard practices makes Love Bite ‘low-intervention’?
An important low-intervention vineyard practice is not using systemic chemicals to treat the vineyard. We’re more focused on growing healthy vines instead of treating the symptoms of disease and pests so we focus a lot on soil health. If you have healthy soil you have healthy vines and if you have healthy vines, you have healthy grapes.
Why does Nouveau Wine choose to use Old Vines?
Using old vines gives you grapes with a better quality, so therefore a better testing wine.
How old are the Old Vines?
An Old Vine in South Africa has to be a minimum of 35 years old. In the industry, it used to be commonplace to pull out older vines and start new but the ‘Old Vine Project’ which started about a decade ago, aims to preserve those older vines.
What impact does the age of the vines have on the wine?
The age of the vine has a massive impact on the quality of the wine. When a vine is young it tends to be quite vigorous. As it grows older it reduces its yield and the grapes on the vine get a lot more concentrated. This makes a superior quality grape which is then reflected in the wine.
What is ‘carbonic maceration’ and what effect does this have on the wine?
Carbonic maceration is where the fermentation of the berry happens within itself due to the environment in the tank. CO2 is added but the grapes aren’t crushed so the grapes become little tanks of their own.
It increases the fruit profile in the wine which makes adds flavours of red and blackberry to the wine. It also decreases the tannin extraction of the wine because you don't break the skin cells of the grape.
What’s the best way to serve Love Bite? How cold should it be?
Serving Love Bite chilled helps to increase the expression of the fresh fruit flavours in the wine.
What do you get when you smell Love Bite?
I pick up so many red berries - cranberries come first to mind but also forest-floor berries, blackberries...It's like a bowl of juicy berries!
What do you get when you taste Love Bite?
Let’s talk about the colour first - as you’ll see it’s a lightly coloured wine which reflects its lighter, elegant structure and smooth tannin on the palette. Then you’ve got the continuation of those juicy berry fruits as well as a boiled sweet/candied quality from the carbonic maceration process.
Wondering how to enjoy tour new favourite wine? Love Bite pairs really well with…