Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

French word for the important operation in the production of fine wines of deciding which lots will be assembled to make up the final blend. It plays a crucial role in sparkling winemaking when some cuvées may be assembled from several hundred different components. Here the complementary nature of each component is of great importance, as is, for all non-vintage sparkling wines, adherence to a house style.

Assemblage is of almost ritual significance in bordeaux, where many châteaux make their so-called grand vin carrying the château name by selecting and blending only the best lots. The rejected lots may either be blended together to make a second wine (and occasionally even a third wine) or be sold off in bulk to a négociant carrying only the local appellation (Margaux or St-Julien, for example).