Friday, October 12, 2007

End of the harvest

Thursday, October 11

The harvest of the black Merlot in our vineyards in the valley of Saint Emilion is now finished. Today, October 11 2007! One month after the early harvest and most likely the last one in the sectors of Badon and La Grézole.

The Merlots from Bel Air Ouÿ in Saint Etienne de Lisse will most likely be harvested next week, after October 15. It is certainly due to my role as consultant at Fleur Cardinale that I felt the need to let my team manage this late harvest. I felt that this particular vintage was conducive to take maximum risk. I actually accepted the risk of losing part of the crop or even fail (which is not in my nature) to allow Jean-Philippe Fort and Christophe Lardière not to limit themselves by my nagging later on. Why has Fleur Cardinal influenced us to do such a late harvest? You just have to taste their wines which, each year, gain in softness and maturity. And there is not one reason, or reasons to question the success of this property which, in a short time, was able to be classified (even if the Saint Emilion classification is being held-up by a few bad players – “IMO”). And especially if you look at the favorable comments from almost all the wine critics in the world, except maybe the Wine Spectator and Le Point. And why not give credit to Robert parker who listed this property as one of the 50 best Bordeaux. I must also ad that Jean-Marc Quarin was way ahead of every critics as he was aware of the work done before the current owners Florence and Dominique Decoster, by the previous one, Mr Asso. He often complemented me on Murielle’s involvement in our neighboring property which was then called Bel Air Ouÿ and that we changed in 1999 into Château Valandraud. This late sector in Saint Emilion on Clayey limestone terroirs already includes a few well known crus in addition to ours: Rol Valentin (in part), Faugères and Peby Faugères, Pressac, etc…

Last night for cocktails at l’Essentiel, we drank a Hacienda Monasterio 2001 (Sapin) and especially a great Montepeloso Eneo 2000 (Italy).

For lunch, we drank a Côte de Baleau 1999 which could have questioned us on the date of the harvest. Grandes Murailles 2001, perfect and the rare Clos Saint Martin 2000 which tasted like a privilege, if you consider the nice group of people assembled by Sophie Fourcade in the Château Côte de Baleau for the end of the harvest, with her colleagues, negociants, brokers and friends.

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