It has been a busy few weeks at Paradise Rescued. Harvest time and wine making is challenging at the best of times but in the worst Bordeaux growing season in probably 25 years, the task was immense. After a successful harvest, it was time to get down to the winemaking.
No two vintages are the same but with the fragility and low ripeness / sugar in the fruit, particular care was needed with this ferment to ensure a stable winemaking process and good wine. It has very much been a day by day and hour by hour process. The changeover to multiple small vats in 2012 has been a great success and gave us the maximum flexibility and technical options possible to safeguard the 2013 vintage. All the classic winemaking steps have been followed but each with its own particular technical adjustment to make the best from this difficult year.
Initially a cold closed maceration was used prior to yeast addition to develop a slow fermentation and low initial rise in alcohol to protect the must. First up, we applied a manual pigeage to enhance the skin to juice contact before starting the more normal “open” then closed remontages or pump overs. With low initial sugar levels, the full fermentation process has been relatively quick. In order to prevent loss or spoilage of the wine from early malolactic fermentation and remaining too long in contact with the skins, the new wine was run off into clean vats and the marc pressed within 12 days. All up, a very quick but specific and highly technical wine making this year.
We naturally taste the juice and wine every day and after every step of the wine making process. We were very encouraged by the flavours in the fresh juice, which confirmed the excellent work done by the harvest team in cutting out rotten fruit and once again Pascale’s skill as a vigneron. Of course the popular, much appreciated but impossible question is “how is the wine going?” At these early stages, there are really only two options! The young wine either has a bad smell and taste in which case it clearly isn’t a good sign or it doesn’t have any adverse smell or taste, in which case it is going OK. Young “OK” wines then go on to become great wines or just good wines. Both our CabFranc vats fit under the “OK so far, so good” category, with good supporting laboratory analysis results. And in a terrible vintage when many producers are already talking up next season and forgetting this year….this is indeed a very pleasing result! We can currently say that we expect there to be a 2013 Cloud9 100% varietal Cabernet Franc. More work to do, more news to report in due course…..but a great start!
Nice work Albane – thank you!