Friday, 9 October 2009

I’ve just taken Alfie for a walk this evening for the first time in about 2 weeks.

Mainly because getting up at 6:30 every morning and then finishing late doesn’t leave much time for leisurely walks with the dog. But we always walk him through the vines and have done so for about 9 months.

I have seen all those vines break from winter dormancy, get smashed by hail in May, re-blossom and then ripen to (hopefully) make some great wine in 2009. Now they all lay bare and are starting to yellow and enter the next dormant phase. I knew I was going to enjoy my first year in the vines, but to see all the seasons and how the vines change has been very inspiring indeed. I can only hope I am lucky enough to keep doing this for many a year to come!

Now I’m trying to not bang on about how great 2009 is, as I’m sure you’ll get an earful when the wine press start putting out the articles in the next few months. Although I’d just like to say that we have now started picking the Cabernet Franc and guess what ... it’s great! I am a massive fan of Cab Franc as I love the finesse and fruit character it gives to the wine. Merlot on its own can be very big with impressive weight, but can also seem simplistic and unexciting.

I am lucky enough to possess around 40% of Franc in my Verniotte vineyards, most of it very old. Sutre said that if I ever re-plant, I should take cuttings from one certain patch of old vines as they are a different clone, and apparently very good. How he can tell this just by eating a grape I really don’t know

We are pumping over like crazy at the moment, and the colour is just immense! When we open the cellar doors in the morning to start work we get this wall of black fruit and plumb air that flows out. I almost want to shut them quick to keep it in!

Looks like we’ll finish the Cab Franc at the beginning of next week and then all that is left is 1 hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon for La Clariere. I really don’t want it to end!

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