Excerpts from Jancis Robinson’s interview with Michel Chapoutier:
“If you use reverse osmosis to reduce the alcohol, you sacrifice some of the aromas. When you concentrate, you concentrate everything — including less desirable aspects. It’s better to add back water. But I’m the only one to actually talk about it. Lots of winemakers actually do it, but I think we should make it legal and bring it out in the open. It’s the future of wine: we can’t make Châteauneuf with 16% alcohol. We must have the courage to defend this point of view. I love to make a tasting of 2003s, adding a little water to them — they’re much better.”
He’s also very hot on the difference between the geological soil deep below the vines and “pedalogical soil” immediately below the vine, pointing out that only about 10% of vine roots actually reach the geological soil “that we’re always on about,” which is a fair point.
He added, “my personal conviction is that the complexity in a wine comes from the level of microbiological activity around the vine roots.” Hence his early adoption of biodynamic viticulture.