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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.
Weather conditions / The 2000 vintage was proclaimed from the start as one of the best vintages of modern times. In the spring of 2003, I had many opportunities to find out if we really had a true dream vintage on our hands.
During the 2000 harvest, while doing a “personal inspection” in the vineyards, I noticed that something extraordinary was on the way. The grapes looked extremely healthy.
While the sorting table was rolling, I observed that there were few leaves, stems and weeds among the grapes. This is why sorting the grapes was so easy and quick. This must be one of the characteristics of the 2000 vintage, because normally even great vintages require a lot of work at the sorting table.
The 2000 vintage is a classic, extravagant and extremely long Bordeaux with dark and extremely dense wines, which have a huge concentration of fruit, length and superbly concentrated tannins. The tannin is not allowed to dominate, as it is well enveloped by the fruit. A scent of under-ripeness is only present in a few wines. One of the hallmarks of this vintage is an intense, deep aroma of dark berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and black cherries.
All red grape varieties have reached perfect maturity, including Bordeaux's most temperamental and unruly grape variety, Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot brings to wines the long-awaited addition of backbone and power.
Additionally, the grapes for whites, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle, ripened perfectly and produced extremely fine dry white wines. The sweet white wines have unfortunately transformed into some light, elegant and charming wines, based 100% on the September harvest. From October 11, it rained a lot in Bordeaux and this continued until the end of the year.