I have just come inside – it’s 9.30pm and still warmer outside than in after an amazing day. There is still a lovely mild fragrance of garlic in the kitchen following a simple French style meal. The sun slowly sank out of the sky as I once again tasted one of my reference wines…

Sadly, we aren’t here for long. Just six nights to witness the amazing work happening here and organise other critical steps to deliver the wine into Australia. Sunday was a casual arrival day, catching up with friends and neighbours – a casual stroll through the vines.

It’s Monday and the work begins. The 2010 Cabernet Franc from Hourcat Sud has now been “en barrique” for nearly 4 months. And today’s task was to taste each of the eight barrels. This was a unique experience and we have assembled team members, Pascale our vigneronne and Nathalie our photographer together with Maryse Dados a neighbour in Cardan who has a lifetime of wine experience to help us through the difficult task.

For our first year of production, the results are amazing. Overall, our wine is very fine, fruity and nicely perfumed, light, well balanced between acid and fruit, not strongly tannic and with a good length on the palate. During its oak maturation, it has gained in complexity and body. Some barrels have developed a beautiful cassis nose and flavour – the assemblage should be gorgeous.

We will shortly return the wine to the main cuve and hold it ready for bottling in early July. Our winemaker Albane’s tasting notes will be published very soon.