Flash Détente

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

flash détente, also known as flash extraction, is a technique originally used to extract flavour from fruit such as bananas and mangoes on Réunion that was successfully applied to wine by researchers at inra in the early 1990s, and patented in 1993. A certain proportion of fully ripe and fully destemmed grapes is rapidly heated to up to 95 ºC (200 ºF) and then immediately put under vacuum. This very fast method of first heating then cooling has been shown to break up the structure of the skin cells, thereby increasing the extraction of colour, polysaccharides, and phenolics by between 30 and 50%. Flash détente (literal meaning ‘instant relaxation’) has so far been authorized for use in certain appellations in southern France such as the Côtes du Rhône and units have been installed there, in Bordeaux, and even in Japan. French and Italian versions have been exported to Australia, the US, and South America. See also thermovinification.