Friday, 29 October 2010

Cold Irons Bound

Autumn is really setting in here in Castillon with vineyard leaves turning different colours and exposing the varietals summer disguise. The mornings are also beginning to get rather cold at around 2 degrees but James and I are still in shorts! And no sooner than the harvest has finished the vignerons are already back into the vineyards ploughing between the rows whilst their precious crop ferments back in the winery.

By midday however its back up to a lovely 18 degrees and the sun gently warms the Dordogne river during the day so that the following morning there are spectacular mists rising from up from the river creating an amazing sunrise.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon about 20 miles out of town in the Entre-Deux-Mers finalising the 2010 Laithwaite Sauvignon blend. The cool summer nights and James’ New Zealand winemaking has created an incredibly grassy aroma backed with subtle citrus fruits ... one of the best yet I reckon!

The continuous and tedious task of rolling and stirring the barrels in the Grand Chai cellar is starting to pay off as the first wine to emerge after what winemakers call the ‘closed period’ is the 26 barrels of Vermentino which goes under the name of the white ‘Vent de Folie’ label. The wine has suddenly started to express itself by re-releasing all the beautiful aromas found in the grape way back in September, and now they are backed by a luscious palate built by stirring the sediment daily.

Oh and Petit Denis says ‘he knows a gardener of a very posh, huge Chateau in the Dordogne that is so proud of his work that every morning he cleans all the water hoses and irrigation system garden with a fresh, clean tea towel provided by his wife…….’


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