THE HARVEST: The 2010 growing season in the Roussillon was punctuated by a second year of drought. From November 2009 through April 2010 total rainfall was measured at 224 liters per square meter. The cold wind (locally called the Tramontana or Tramuntana in Catalan) arrived on May 31st disrupting flowering and set. This was followed by a hail storm on June 18 further reducing the crop. The summer was very hot without rain, and fruit developed sugars early. The decision was made to begin bringing in fruit August 31st (two-three weeks earlier than “normal”) in an effort to maintain as much freshness and acid as possible.
Grapes for this wine were picked in mid-September with an average specific gravity of 1.105 or a potential alcohol of 14.3%. Grapes were first culled in the vineyard and then again at the crusher while manually reviewing and placing the bunches one by one into the hopper. Berries were separated from their stems and gently placed onto a conveyer where the eyes and hands of three to four additional people cull again, insuring pristine fruit into the crusher. Grapes are lightly crushed and then sent to a waiting concrete fermenter.
THE WINE: The bottled wine is both lush and fresh due to low yields and early picking respectively. The aromas are effusive and robust exhibiting wild black raspberry and garrigues. The flavors are a bit more tame, with an array of red/black fruit flavors and an earthly, brambly finish supported by silky tannins.
This wine includes approximately 3% old vine carignan that is part of the vineyard mix, a tradition of the early vigneron (blending in the field rather than in the winery). Grenache loves to bed down with carignan which adds a firm backbone of tannin and acid.
- Harvest: September 13-15
- Specific Gravity: 1.105
- Varietal Mix: 97% grenache noir, 3% carignan
- Yield: 15 hl/ha (approximately 1 ton/acre)
- Alcohol: 14.6% by volume
- TA: 5.7 g/L