DÉBOURBAGE (SETTLING) Settling of the non-fermented grape juice as it separates from the earth residue, leaves and other matter. Adding bentonite, a fine clay, helps the sediment naturally settle out of the juice. Also a term for RACKING, when a wine is pumped off of its lees.
DECANTING Pouring a wine from its bottle into a carafe to aerate it or remove its deposits. It can eliminate the bottle bouquet obtained after several years of aging or soften a young wine by smoothing out its tannins.
DELICATE Said of a wine that is light and dissolves on the palate.
DEMI-SEC A sparkling wine that contains 35-50 grams of sugar per liter.
DEPOSITS Sediments in wine, especially prevalent in older wines. These are generally removed by decanting before the wine is served (see DECANTING).
DESTEMMING Separation of the grape berries from the stem in order to avoid releasing their unpleasant, rough tannins during pressing.
DEVATTING Separating free run juice from the marc (see CAP) after the fermentation process. Also known as RUNNING OFF.
DISGORGEMENT In the méthode champenoise, this is the elimination of the yeast deposits formed during bottle fermentation. The top of the bottles are plunged into an icy solution that freezes the lees so that the can be removed.
DISTILLATION Using heat to separate the components of a liquid.
DISTINGUISHED Said of a wine that is unique, with typical expression.
DOSAGE Adding sugar to a Champagne after DISGORGEMENT in the form of a liquid called a “bottling dosage”.
DOUX Term used for wines with natural residual sugars, like a Vin Doux Naturel (Natural Sweet Wine).
DOWNGRADING Removing a wine’s right to claim a certain appellation by demoting it to a table wine.
DULL Said of a wine with slightly insufficient acidity.
DURAS Red variety produced in Gaillac.
DURIF Red variety produced in Dauphiné.