Friday, 4 September 2009

Last night was cooler and some rain which will be welcomed by red vineyards – but a worry for whites.

With 28 degrees forecasted for today, botrytis (grey rot) could be knocking on the door soon!

First stop this morning is at the property of Monsieur Toquebio in the l'Herault, close to Montpellier, to check the Pinot Noir for a Champs Etoile 2009 which, although low yields due to water stress, is looking great.

Monsieur Toquebio is extremely proud of his wines. I was lucky enough to be given a lengthy tasting from vats and barrels, during which I also noticed a small vat of Cabernet Franc. I asked for taste and amazingly, the wine was stunning and for sale! I left with a sample to taste with Jean-Marc and Clare tomorrow evening in Bordeaux.

I then headed for Salles sur l'Aude in the north of Narbonne to oversee the bottling of the Champs d'Etoile 2008 Pinot Noir at the CVS bottling plant. Once I had tasted everything and the bottling was well underway, I made my way into the wild Corbières where I did a little bit of undercover work and stopped into a few wineries to see what the quality was like.

I continued into Fitou and then up over the other side into the l'Agly valley and to my home from home, the Cave De Maury! I checked the GG juice and decided I wanted another 12 hours settling, so I liaise with the transporter to ensure a tanker will be here first thing tomorrow, to safely take the juice to our Chai in Bordeaux.

On the way back towards the Med I was pleased to feel the Tramontane northerly wind. The wind will naturally dry the vineyards from last night’s rain to keep the rot at bay. It is now when good pruning shows as the vines that have been well pruned will benefit the most from the wind.

Tonight I am staying in the old town of Rivesaltes – famed for its fortified Muscat wines. I get to the Maison de Muscat just in time to have an aperitif of some of the very old Ambre and Tuile Rivesaltes.

Will have to get my skates on tomorrow as the loading and transport of the 2009 GG juice is at 7:30 am and then I am hosting a wedding reception with JMS at the Chai in Castillon at 6pm!


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