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General Discussion

What are lees?


General Discussion

What are lees?

Melanie Wong | Jan 1, 2001 06:42 PM

Via e-mail - "Have a question, as a chowhound newbie--are you in the wine business professionally. Your champagne posts were so filled with details and, actually, some terms I wasn't familiar with (lees?).Have a good New Year, and happy chowing!"

Here's a link below to the definition of "lees".

The importance of lees in winemaking is to add flavor (described as bread dough, yeasty, biscuit, toasted nuts, etc.), develop richer mouthfeel, protect against oxidation, and help integrate flavor components. Leesy flavors are considered desirable in champagne, muscadet sur lie (on the lees), and chardonnay wines, for example. The next time you try a fine white burgundy and discover aromas like rising bread dough and an almost unctuous texture, you can say, "hmmm, lots of lees contact."

Whever I'm asked about my position in the wine industry, my standard reply is that I'm the most important person - the Consumer! Wine is my hobby and passion but not my profession.


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