CL23 produces very low levels of fusel oils and other congener compounds during fermentation and so does not contribute much to wine flavour or aroma and can therefore be considered to be a particularly neutral / clean fermenter. However CL23 does contribute significantly to the wines structure and ferments out sugars completely allowing for the driest of wines to be made.
CL23 is noted for its robustness, being able to ferment to 18% abv. ethanol, tolerate high free SO2 and high levels of other stress factors such as organic acids, incorrect temperature and pH making CL23 the strain of choice for high alcohol wines or where uncertain recipes are employed and fermentation reliability is a key factor or where low temperature fermentation down to 8°C (46°CF) is required. This strain is ‘fermentation friendly’ in that it produces zero foam, starts fermenting rapidly so avoids potential bacterial contamination and can be used to re-start stuck fermentations.
In certain situations, CL23 can be used for red winemaking – especially where wine structure and dryness are key factors – but a word of caution, CL23 will take out colour and fruit flavour so recipes should be adjusted accordingly. To appreciate such attributes, split a Cabernet Sauvignon Must and ferment out using CL23 versus VR21 – you will not believe both wines came from the same grape.