Thursday, 5 November 2009

The big day is finally here, the blending of the 2008 Un Vent de Folie!

I have been waiting so long for the right moment and early this week I tasted through the barrels and was sure it was the perfect time to put the wine into bottle. The individual vineyards have been kept separate from the day it was picked way back in September 2008 and I have watched and learnt from the components that make the Vent de Folie blend.

The blend is made up from 104yr old Carignan, 100yr old Grenache Noir, 65yr old Grenache Noir and Syrah vineyards all with there own unique soil and micro-climates. I have filled a few bottles from the single barrels to put in my wine archive so that I can continue to learn how the wines will develop in bottle.

The wine has been in barrels for 12 months and during this time the sediment has slowly fallen to the bottom and gradually compacted into an almost jam like consistency, leaving a beautifully naturally clarified crystal clear wine behind. I have not used filters or fining agents once and with patience and good barrel husbandry the wine has naturally become what we call perfect bottle condition!

We therefore have to be careful when we move the wine so as not to disturb the sediment clouding the wine and this is done using a thin racking spear. The arrow screw on the bottom is adjusted depending on the thickness of the barrel sediment so that the holes that suck the wine sit above the sediment in clear wine.

You have to watch it like a hawk as the spear must be kept vertical at all times. If necessary you must adjust the screw on the spear as every barrel is different! Once the blending got underway the aroma from the wine filled the whole Chai and was so powerful you could almost taste it in the air!

The tasting of the new blend at the end of the day made me very proud and I can guarantee this is not a wine to be missed!

It’s getting colder here in Bordeaux and at last beginning to feel a little wintry. The temperature has fallen in the Chai too. My poor little Roussanne barrels that are still fermenting are slowing down due to the cold. However I have a trick up my sleeve! I will make a plastic tent over the barrels and use some electric heaters to create an isolated warm room. After I had finished, Chris came back into the Chai and when he saw the big square black tent his face lit up as he thought I had bought a Hummer as the new Chai work vehicle!!!

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