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The philosophy behind work in both the vineyard and cellars is akin to that of a goldsmith, as befits a terroir of this calibre. It calls for careful decision-making and meticulous execution.
Soil management is entirely organic and viticulture is sustainable, with green cover between the vine rows and Guyot double pruning. Picking is done entirely by hand. The grapes are sorted and put into small vats corresponding to specific plots; each vat receives individual attention. Pigeage (punching down the cap) is practised.
Winemaking is constantly fine-tuned and whole berries have been fermented since 2012, along with a small proportion of stems to develop floral aromas.
Ageing takes place for 18-24 months in barrels from the finest coopers. Fifty percent of these are new every year.
Right up there with 1947, 1961, and 2005, 2009 is a year of almost exaggeratedly (for Bordeaux) flamboyant, opulent wines with elevated ripeness and low acidity. The tannins are unusually ripe, while the wines are quite voluptuous in style. The Left Bank recorded more sunlight hours than legendary vintages such as 1947 and 1982, and grapes had higher sugar concentrations than 2003 and 2005. The key was significant diurnal temperature swings that allowed grapes to handle the hot daytime temperatures. An exceptional vintage across the board.