Tuesday, 19 October 2010

And I’m back In the Game!

Well what a vintage ride it’s been. I started on August 29th down in the Roussillon with the Grenache Gris and it hasn’t stopped since!

Immediately after in rolled the Sauvignon Blancs of the Entre-Deux-Mers, Chardonnays of Carcassonne, Viogniers of Beziers, Vermentino from Languedoc, an all new Marsanne, then Roussanne, Sauvignon Gris back in Bordeaux, Chardonnay from Limoux, and whites done.

Midi red harvest kicked off with not a moment to spare. Languedoc Pinot Noir, l’Agly Valley Syrah, Roussillon Grenache and Carignan, Minervois, Fitou, Corbieres more Grenache in the high Schist of St.Paul de Fenouillet, the Negrette’s of Fronton, Cotes de Castillon, Pauillac, Margaux and finally our Grand Chai St Emilion yesterday with perfect berries rolling off the sorting table.

Not to mention the Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, English, Frenchies, the Spanish, Bernadette’s lunches, Le Voyageur restaurant, 20,000kms driven, a few speeding tickets, JMS, dinners at Le Bourg, Le Comptoir at St Genes, boiling hot weather, cassoulet, Sir Michael of Windsor, the Laithwaites, film crews 2 or 3?, our UK buyers, UK team conferences, 80’s fancy dress parties, Chai dinners, tours, wine advisors from the UK, Chai Keyholders, Monday markets and of course our own Petit Denis!

Oh and Petit Denis says ‘The new huge 100 ton Chain draped over the refurbished Castillon Citadel entrance used to be stretched across the Dordogne River to stop barrel laden Gabare boats getting through to Bordeaux tax free and he knows a bloke with a toe for thumb’…..

We’ve all gone slightly mad but with all the grapes in and most of the whites already finished, their sugar sanity is back and the next step of winemaking can begin. We now have nearly 500 white wine barrels to be daily stirred or rolled on the OxO in order to mix back the sediment for palate weight, crisp Viognier and Sav B’s to rack off lees and keep fresh and reds to pump over precisely to extract the perfect amount of tannins.

Oh and a stuck ferment in the Midi, there’s always one isn’t there! Will keep the hire a few more days ... fingers crossed

And a big thanks to Libby for her patience with me over harvest!


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