You may have already noticed that if the wine has been open for several days it evolves? When it comes into contact with the air, the wine in the open bottle oxidizes. Thus, the color, aromas, and palate change. It is therefore often desirable to protect the wine from oxidation so that it keeps its freshness and is not modified. But this is not the case for sailing wines, for which we are looking for this oxidative taste.
A voile wine is therefore a wine characterised by the development, after alcoholic fermentation, of yeasts that form a veil on the surface of the barrel because it is in contact with the ambient air. It is this veil of yeast that will then isolate the wine from contact with the air and thus prevent a sudden oxidation of the wine but keep its oxidative taste.
For this process to work, the wine must be rich in alcohol (minimum 13%) as this prevents bacteria from developing and the wines must be aged in unopened barrels (not completely filled). This maturation process for the wine is quite unusual and allows to create wines that are recognizable among thousands.
This process gives the wine a unique and very specific character with aromas of fresh nuts and above all a very long finish. Among the sailing wines, we can mention the yellow wines of the Jura which are aged for six years "under sail".
Sail wines have a golden colour for whites, because over time the wine changes from a pale colour to a more pronounced colour. For the reds, the colour is tile or amber. This pronounced colour is due to oxidation. These wines mainly emit aromas of nuts but also sometimes green or ripe apples. The molecules responsible for these flavours are ethanal and sotolon. These are very low acid wines but above all powerful. It is a very dry wine but also very supple. As for gastronomy, this wine can go from aperitif to cheese but we advise you to combine it with a good foie gras, morels or even a cheese like Comté !
Lou Dubois for Les Grappes