J. Laffort active dry yeast (ADY) cultures are only available in 500 mg quantities. These amounts are impractical for the average home winemaker, but Laffort strains are quality yeasts and one should consider them. It is often feasible for a winemaking club's members to pool their resources and purchase a quantity, then divide it up among themselves. Alternatively, one could check the commercial wineries in their area and determine whether they would sell a small quantity of yeast if they happen to be using one of these. These yeasts can be ordered directly from Scott Laboratories at 707-765-6666, outside California at 1-800-821-7254, or by fax at 707-765-6674.
This strain was isolated in Bordeaux for its enhancement of natural varietal aromas. Excellent organoleptic results have been obtained due to the beta-glucosidase activity on bound turpenes found in varieties such as Muscat, Chardonnay, Semillion, and Viognier. Low decarboxylase activity results in low production of vinyl-phenols and helps yield wines with finesse and elegance. Given sufficient nutrients, its relatively slow fermentation rate will ferment to dryness with 14-15% alcohol tolerance and a minimum of H2S, SO2 and volatile acid production.
This strain was isolated in Bordeaux following fundamental research done on enhancing varietal character and aroma in Sauvignon Blanc. The research led to the identification of certain aroma precursors which yeast could act upon to reveal specific aromas. Subsequent experimentation has found this to be true of other varieties, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and most other white wines. The VL3 is adapted to aging on the lees and produces very low levels of volatile acidity and SO2. Alcohol tolerance is 13-15%.
This is a Sauternes strain developed at the Bordeaux Institute of Oenology. It was selected for the production of sweet wines with up to 15% alcohol by volume. A high sensitivity to SO2 helps stop the fermentation with a minimal amount of SO2 addition, reducing the potential for complex sulfur compounds formation.
This strain is tailored for the production of full-bodied, well-rounded red wines with good structure. It allows for full expression of varietal character and terroir with improved extraction of polysaccharides and anthocyanins. It is alcohol tolerant to 13-15% and is recommended for use in wines produced for aging, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah.
This strain was selected in Bordeaux for its ability to produce round, aromatic and structured red wines. Particularly notable is this strain’s high production of glycerol. It is particularly suitable for grapes coming from young vines or in wines that lack phenolic structure and is alcohol tolerant to 15%.
This strain was selected by the Laffort research laboratory (SARCO) for its good implantation and ability to produce wines with more complexity and fruity character. It is particularly good for red wines with average aging potential or to be drunk fairly young. This is a quick starting fermenter with low production of sulfated compounds and a fermentation potential of up to 14.5% alcohol. It can also be used with good results on white and rosé wines and is particularly good with Pinot Noir.
This strain was isolated in the Beaujolais area for its ability to produce fresh, up front fruit in wines in the "primeur" style, specifically Gamay, Zinfandel and Merlot. It is a quick fermenter with good color extractionand a low production of H2S and volatile acids. It enhances berry-fruity flavors and is MLF tolerant.
Actiflore C (Strain F33)
This strain was selected particularly for its production of colloidal polysaccharides which creates wines with superior balance. It has excellent fermentation characteristics, including good kinetics, low nitrogen requirement, resistance to heat shock, and alcohol tolerance up to 15%. It is a general purpose yeast suitable for the production of whites, rosés and reds.