After fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 to 15 months in French oak barrels (made of split oak staves form the forests of Central France) 50% to 70% of the barrels are new and 50% to 30% are one-year old.
Air slowly penetrates through the pores in the wood and gently oxidizes the wine. The oak contributes to the elegance of its tannins. At the same time, the restricted volume of the barrel facilitates the precipitation of the lees over the months.During this ageing process the wine is finely racked, thus separating the clear wine from the lees.
Each racking process is carried out from barrel to barrel and clarity is checked by holding a glass of the wine before a candle. Two cellar workers are responsible for this job throughout the year. When one racking cycle has been completed, it is time to start the next one.
Once aged, the wine is returned to the vats to prepare for bottling. At this point, and to ensure that all bottles are perfectly identical, another assembling operation is carried out: The wine from the new barrels and the wine from the one-year old barrels have aged differently.
The following fining process uses egg whites to clarify and stabilize the wine and any particles precipitate to form a deposit, preventing the sediment being transferred to the bottle.
After quite a warm and rainy winter, an early budburst, and a fast and homogeneous flowering, cautious vine-growers and winemakers experienced a slow véraison.
Once again the weather was good to us: all seasonal vineyard tasks in the first part of the year that are now part of our usual routine (such as getting rid of base bud shoots, leaf pruning, “échardage” (i.e. getting rid of laterals shoots specifically located in the cluster area), green harvest), could not compensate for the cool temperatures of the beginning of the summer. We began to doubt that we could produce a wine as great as vintage 2014. We desperately needed more sun and warmer temperatures…
From the end of August on, average temperatures came back to normal, and a very hot and sunny September led to mature grapes and soft tannins, thanks to a sound and healthy vineyard. Hence, a harvest of high quality.
Our doubts disappeared thanks to an exceptional late season. We started the 2014 harvest with a large smile.
Hervé Martin, Vineyard Manager at the estate since 1986, organized everything and we started harvesting on September 25th with the young Merlot vines and finished on October 15th with the old plots of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Harvesting over four weeks made it possible to harvest each lot at perfect maturity.
Merlot: September 25th, 26th , 30th & October 1st
Cabernet Franc: October 6th
Cabernet Sauvignon: from October 7th until October 15th (with several breaks)