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Glossary

SACY
A white grape variety that is cultivated in Yonne and Allier that produces a very fresh, dry wine.
SAIGNÉE
Rosé de saignée. A rosé produced from red grapes that undergo a short maceration so that the wine acquires some of the pigments, but no tannins. These rosés are more powerful than the rosés de pressurage, which are rosés produced from red grapes using the production method for white wines.
SALMANAZAR
Giant bottle containing the equivalent of twelve normal 750 ml bottles.
SAUVIGNON BLANC
A white variety cultivated in many regions, but especially used in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux and in the Vins de Pays from the south of France. These are delicate wines, lively but still soft, with typical aromas of grapefruit, boxwood and crushed blackberry leaf.
SAVAGNIN
A grape variety grown in the Jura region that is used to produce the renowned Vin Jaune. Pink varieties are grown in Alsace (klevner and gewürztraminer).
SCIACARELLO
Red variety cultivated in Corsica that yields a fleshy, fruity wine
SECONDARY FERMENTATION
Name of the second bottle fermentation for sparkling wines that produces the carbon dioxide to carbonate the wines.
SEEPING
Said of a bottle in which the cork is leaking wine. This is sometimes due to an overly dry cellar that causes the cork to shrink, or high heat that causes the wine to expand.
SÉLECTION DE GRAINS NOBLES
Specific designation, meaning “selection of noble berries” that can be added to the Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru appellations made from Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Tokay-Pinot Gris and Muscat when these grapes meet strict production requirements. The extremely high concentration of sugar that is required (256 grams per liter for Riesling and Muscat and 279 for Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris) is obtained by over ripening the grapes so that they can be infected by noble rot. Harvesting must be carried out in multiple passes to ensure that only the infected grapes are collected.
SÉMILLON
Late ripening white variety that is cultivated in Bordeaux and produces fine sweet wines, among others. It is highly susceptible to noble rot and offers great smoothness as well as aromas of stone fruit, pear and honey. It is also less acidic than Sauvignon Blanc, and the two are often blended.
SENSORY ANALYSIS
Technical name for critical tasting to determine a wine’s qualities and defects. It is based on both scientific information that explains the origin of a wine’s aromas and flavors, and also a highly developed sense of smell that can detect aromas at the lowest possible threshold.
SEVERE
Said of a wine that is hard and lacks a bouquet.
SHARPNESS
High acidity accompanied by a vinegar-like odor. This sour odor is a serious defect in wine, indicating that undesirable bacterial activity has occurred.
SHORT
Said of a wine that does not leave a lasting sensation on the palate after tasting, often called a wine with a short finish. (1 to 2 Caudalies. See CAUDALIE)
SILKY
Said of a supple, soft, smooth wine with delicate, velvety tannins.
SKIN CONTACT
A stage of white wine production that consists of letting the grapes sit in an oxygen-free environment at low temperatures before to free the primary aromas from the skins. Normal fermentation follows.
SMOKY
An odor similar to that of smoked foods that is characteristic of a few varieties, including Sauvignon Blanc, which is known as Fumé Blanc in the Loire Valley.
SMOOTHNESS
The pleasant sensation of softness and richness offered by a wine, which is unrelated to its sugar content. However, a wine’s smoothness can make it seem softer and sweeter.
SOLID
Said of a wine that is well constructed with good structure.

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