The Week That Was ... Rather Busy!
There have been busy weeks and there has been last week! Not only were the last of the reds being harvested in Bordeaux, but the first reds in the Midi were being pressed off. That meant a couple of dashes down and back to the Midi to start the week off, setting the pace that would continue for the next seven days.
The dry botrytis wine, now dubbed the ‘DB’ by the Chai winemakers, is something very experimental. It’s a blend of two very different styles of the Sémillon grape. The first is an early harvested Bordeaux Sémillon to make a crisp dry wine and the second is a Botrytis Sémillon from Loupiac to make a sweet desert style. The objective is to have a dry wine but with the marmalade aromas and taste of the botrytis, simple eh?
The first problem is that the two styles must be blended and fermented together as the sweet juice of the Loupiac alone will never ferment dry and therefore be too sweet to blend later on. The second is that these styles are harvested four weeks apart from each other!
So how do we do it? Luckily at the Chai we have wonderful modern equipment and our cooling system is one of the best. It allowed us to pick the first Sémillon at the very beginning of September and hold it at 4°C to avoid a wild fermentation for three weeks until the harvest in Loupiac was ready to start. The juices were then blended at Le Chai and we raised the temperature kicking off the fermentation! It’s very exciting and so far so very good!
The outbounders were also busy at Le Chai and it was the group’s turn to do a wine blending with the winemaker in our lab and tasting room. It’s hard work and a great deal of concentration is required but great fun … and they get to see just how difficult it is to blend wine.
We have also been very busy bottling some of our little treasures of Bordeaux 2010 Chateaux, including Chateau Grand Billard from Monsegur, Chateau Geneau from Blaye and Chateau Le Coin from Rauzan!
So apart from a hell of a lot of winemaking it feels like there has also been a hell lot of eating!
JMS and I are off to the South West regions tomorrow to visit Cahors, Madiran, Gascogne and Fronton to re-check the wines we make with Lionel Osman. Will it slow down?