The reputation of the 2009 vintage is already suffering from several preconceived notions, notably that of its presumed heaviness.The topic is regularly discussed in the region's cellars, the echo of a tenacious reputation that originated during the first days of the harvest, under the warm September sun. The season was perfect: a long, harsh winter; an early start for the vegetative cycle in mid-April; temperatures that promoted quick, even flowering; regular but not excessive rainy periods; and hot, sunny weather from late July through the Indian summer of October.These favorable conditions, further aided by a low incidence of oidium, gave us perfectly healthy grapes that ripened undisturbed. But there was still one essential point to decide: when to harvest?
We took samples for testing and tasted the grapes more often. Though the late summer sun encouraged us to take our time, the earliest parcels were harvested on September 1st.The harvest was then spread out over two weeks, following a schedule determined by the results of the tests.A healthy harvest and beautifully balanced must made for an excellent vintage.
The malolactic fermentation progressed faster than usual, and the wines were already starting to reveal themselves in the spring of 2010.
We racked early (in July instead of September) in order to lengthen the second phase of the élevage, in vat*, which helps keep the wines taut.The wines were bottled between mid-February and early April, 2011.To me, 2009 resembles the 2002 vintage, but a 2002 that didn't suffer the heat of the summer of 2003 during its élevage in barrel; or, even better, a 1992.And finally, in 2010 we began the organic certification process that will formalize the farming practices followed here since 2000.