Surely you have ever come across this word when looking for a good wine to buy it, or when you have been given a bottle whose label included this word: lees. It is possible that many people still do not know its meaning or its contribution to the aging process of wine.
The lees are yeasts that acquire their relevance in the wine fermentation phase. This single-celled fungus that produces enzymes capable of causing alcoholic fermentation, is found everywhere, from the vineyard to the barrels or tanks.
When the yeasts have already fulfilled their activity and die, they decompose. This process is what we call autolysis. In its decomposition, some compounds accumulate in the bottom of the tanks or barrels, improving the characteristics of the wine.
Among other things, the lees add intensity and stability to the wine, which translates into less astringency, which is that feeling of dryness in the mouth, and less probability of oxidation, since the lees consume oxygen.
For this transformation to provide the expected results, the content must be periodically removed in order to homogenize the components of all the wine, and prevent the lees from remaining at the bottom of the barrel, bottle, or glass.
In our Bodegas Copaboca, we have an example of an exceptional wine aged on lees: Juan Galindo Lías. Qualified with 90 points by the Peñin Guide, the Juan Galindo Lías is a 100% D.O. Rueda which comes from grapes selected from our best vineyards, located in the northernmost part of the Vega del Duero-Riberas de Castronuño Nature Reserve.
This is the tasting note of Juan Galindo Lías:
Color: Bright straw yellow with golden tones.
Nose: Fresh on the nose, elegant with hints of wood and an aniseed and balsamic background.
Mouth: It is creamy and sweet.
Pairing: Ideal for pairing seafood, fish and white meat dishes.
Serving temperature: 11-14ºC.
Closure: Natural cork.
If this explanation of aging on the lees has piqued your curiosity, you can taste the Juan Galindo Lías by buying it in our winery or order to take it home through our online store.
And if you show up for dinner with this wine and your friends haven’t tried it yet, you will surely surprise them. They will love it!