Whole Berry 750ml – Cabernet Sauvignon
In order to achieve a luscious, juicy wine, we try to have as little intervention in the cellar as possible. Simply de-stemmed, the whole, uncrushed bunches are transported using only a gravity flow system. Whole berry maceration is followed by fermentation with natural yeasts, racking and one year’s maturation in oak barrels. The result is a velvety wine with softer tannins and classical varietal characteristics. This traditional wine is unfiltered and unfined, which may deposit sediment and might require decanting.
Méthode Ancienne 2013 750ml – 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.
Our 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. 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 we could bottle, but the agony was not yet over. After three more years’ wait for maturation in bottles we reluctantly released the first Méthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 vintage. So long had we lived with this wine, that to trade it for money was painful. It was a piece of our history, our passion, labour and luck we were selling. It is our finest expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, and the best we can do. Will age for another 15-20 years.
Methode Ancienne 1997 – Cabernet Sauvignon
Over 20 years ago, our red wine was made with commercial yeast, and crushed grapes. In 1997, on our path towards how the way we make our red wines today, we made what is now known as Méthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon using, for the first time, native yeast , yet still crushed the berries before fermentation.
This wine, with the additional extraction from the crushed berries, took much longer to mature and for the hard edges to soften. Even after two years in new French oak, and four years of further bottle maturation, it was still too closed and the tannin structure too tight to be released.
Wine is made using trial and error, so from the 1998 vintage onwards we fermented the Méthode Ancienne Cabernet using native yeast and whole berry maceration (uncrushed), creating softer tannins and wines that would reach maturity sooner than those made with crushed grapes.
Finally, the 1997 vintage of the Méthode Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon, almost forgotten in the back of our cellar, has been deemed ready to be shared with the world.