One of the positive things for a Bordeaux wine producing blogger at this time of year is that there is never a shortage of exciting news to report and discuss. Although very sadly I had to leave the Indian summer of Cardan France last weekend to return to Australia, work on the 2011 vintage continues with passion and detail. Working from a (very large) distance almost compels one to operate with a very delegated and empowered style of leadership – something that fits well with my personal values and those of Paradise Rescued. Breaking it down into a simple language: find great people, give them a clear vision and direction, establish the required boundaries and then let them put their passion, energy and innovation to work. This very open trusting approach together with an amazing team has delivered spectacular results and the 2010 Cloud9 Cabernet Franc is the testament.

And at the same time, there are some wonderful surprises as this week’s events showed. We needed to find a more practical solution to pressing the marc when we came to racking off the new wine from the vat. As a “microcuvée” boutique operation, standard large equipment is very expensive to buy or hire for just one day’s work per annum. But finding a gentle press of the right size was proving almost impossible. You can imagine the excitement and tension as we received an email on Tuesday night with a quote for a press for delivery on the following day! More exciting again, by the time I got to my desk on Thursday morning, the photos were already on our Facebook page and by night time Australian time, we had received a text to report that everything had gone well! Great work, team – thank you Albane, Pascale, Nathalie and once again Jean-Luc for your incredible support.

So yes, the wine has been racked off and the marc pressed. We have about 1500 litres of Cabernet Franc, enough for about 6 full barriques plus we hope one barrique of our new Cab Merlot. The wines are now back in their vats and sealed with their floating covers. As the weather remains warm across SW France, the likelihood is that the wines will progress fairly quickly onto malolactic fermentation so nature won’t allow that to happen in the barrels this time. 2011 will be a harder vintage to mature right and ensure a great follow-up to the superb 2010. In Pascale our vigneronne’s words “…the upbringing of this future nectar seems like it will be more complex and complicated, it is a very capricious vintage, we will have to be very vigilant and attentive as to what happens in the winery, this will require us to be passionate….” And knowing Pascale, she has that Paradise Rescued passion to make it succeed!