100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Thirty five years ago we cleared a 2,8ha triangle of land previously ignored, because it was not “good” enough. Too rocky and nearly too steep, infested with thorns, with the odd abandoned ox wagon under some trees. It was Cabernet Sauvignon and our thirst for it that drove us to this forsaken place.
Slope: Very gentle, southerly
Soil: Very rocky, 70% quartz, 30% soluble
Climate: Moderate summer with low night temperatures, cold winter
Wind: South Easterly (summer)
The vines did grow, struggling at first – virtually no soil, roots had to creep past rocks; they took much longer to bear than others, but eventually did. The miracle was in the fruit. Tiny berries – intense in colour and flavour, this meagre crop was vinified in the traditional way.
Yield – 2-3 t/ha
Harvested at full seed ripeness
No crushing of berries, no yeast but that from their skins, no fining- additives and no filters. Wine made by itself, kept for two years in the best new French-oak barrels, fit for this wonder.
Finally they could bottle, but the agony was not yet over. After three more years’ wait for maturation in bottles they reluctantly released the first Méthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon vintage in 1998. So long had they lived with this wine, that to trade it for money was painful. It was a piece of their history, passion, labour and luck they were selling. It is their finest expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the best.
Cold macerated uncrushed in open fermenters for 10 days
Punched through 3 times daily
Fermented uncrushed in 100% new Seguin Moreau 300l barrels
100% spontaneous Malolactic fermentation in barrel
24 Months barrel maturation
4 years bottle maturation at 14°C
Maturation – 2 years new barrel maturation, 4 years bottle maturation
Bottling – Unfiltered, unfined, unstabilised
Sugar: 1.95 g/L
FSO2: 40mg/L at bottling
Total acidity: 6.17 g/L
Will age for another 15-20 years.