With reductive winemaking care is taken to reduce the contact of oxygen with the wine during the winemaking process, for a so-called “controlled oxidation”.

For champagne, this is associated with the use of stainless-steel vats for fermentation, as opposed to the resurgent use of oak barrels for a more oxidative style.

The purpose of reductive winemaking is to protect the grapes, the must (juice) and wine so that the primary fruit aromas and flavors are preserved.

However, taken to the extreme it can result in “reduced notes” that include unpleasant flavors like rotten eggs, rubber, struck matches, sewage and even skunk.

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