Friday, 25 September 2009

The Fog!

Since the rain fell we’ve had a permanent cover of fog that I thought would never leave. There was no point in starting to pick as I couldn’t find my vineyards!

Thankfully though, today it cleared in the afternoon just in time for another visit from the master of grape eating … Mr Sutre! Today I would find out what effect the rain had on the vineyards. After doing the tour it seems like the vineyards on the plateau have sucked up a touch of the rain but this has not really affected the flavour, just simply diluted the sugars a bit, which in the long run is good as they were beginning to get a bit too high!

The La Clarière vineyards at Le Bourg seem to have taken up more whilst also showing some astringency that would need time to disperse. The word from Sutre is that my Verniotte vines on the top of the plateau are ready to go … maintenant! If I leave it too late then I risk losing aromas and overcooking the grapes.

One thing I have learnt from these walks with Sutre is how to assess the finer flavours in the fruit. In cool years, it is often the case that the longer you leave it the better the grapes will become, despite unfavourable conditions. In hot years such as this, the hardest thing is to make the call to pick early to preserve finesse, despite the sun continuing to shine. A lesson I learnt with the very hot 2003 vintage.

So after a few phone calls we are going to start my vineyards tomorrow and Friday and then start La Clarière on the Saturday. The weather looks fine for at least 10 days and we should really aim to get all the Merlot in before the next rain as that would for certain start the dreaded rot!

So the plan of attack has now been decided; we’ll soon have our first grapes in tank after 9 long months of tending to these vines. Jusqu’au demain!

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