Wine Glossary

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There are 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter Y.
Yeast
The single cell organisms that are responsible for fermentation. This is as true in wine as it is in beer or even bread. In the case of wine, the primary yeast responsible for the first (alcohol) fermentation belong to the class "Sacharomyces." Not all yeast is good yeast, and some can lead to spoilage. Many types of yeast may be found in and around wineries, and due to the need to control the specific yeast in wine, sterility is extremely important in a winery.

Yeasty
A wine taster's term for a wine that has a pronounced flavor of yeast. Reminiscent of fresh bread, this flavor is common in sparkling wines and wines aged "sur lie." For all other types of wine, this flavor should be considered a fault. It should never be too pronounced, and in sparkling wines, it should be more toasty (like burnt bread) than a freshly baked loaf.

Yield
When related to wine this term refers to the amount of fruit any given vine or vineyard produces. As with so many things in wine, this is a balancing act. You want to get enough fruit to remain profitable; however, by reducing the yield you attain more flavor fruit. In Europe the relative yield of a vineyard or vine is often regulated by law. This ensures quality wines. Modern vineyard techniques have managed to increase yields while still maintaining quality. The laws and the world of wine remain in flux as the perfect balance of the number of vines per area and the yield per vine are sought.

Young
A designation for any wine that is not quite ready to drink. In the case of lighter wines, this may be directly on release; but, for Cabernet Sauvignon based wines, and others designed for prolonged aging, the period of youth may last a decade or more.

Yquem / d'Yquem, Chateau (ee-kem / dee-kem)
The highest rated wine of the Bordeaux region of France. In a land where long lived red wines are common, Chateau d'Yquem is an even longer lived sweet white wine. Made from the Semillon grape with a bit of Sauvignon Blanc, this is a dessert wine like no other. As with other wines from the Sauternes district, the grapes achieve their intense sweetness after being effected by the botrytis mold, which removes the water from the grape. The shriveled remains of these grapes are then picked, at their peak of perfection, a task that often takes several "tries" or trips to the vineyard, over a period of weeks to accomplish. While other Sauternes may be described as sweet apricots and figs, I am fond of saying that d'Yquem is "a cornucopia of fruit, that is ever changing in your mouth." There are other Sauternes, and other dessert wines, but nature and man have teamed up to put Chateau d'Yquem in a class by itself.


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