28 Years ago we cleared a 2.8ha triangle of land previously ignored, because it was not "good" enough. Too rocky and nearly too steep, infested with thorns with the odd abandoned ox wagon under some trees. It was Cabernet Sauvignon and our thirst for it that drove us to this forsaken place.
Our vines did grow, struggling at first — virtually no soil, roots had to creep past rocks; they took much longer to bear than others, but eventually did. The miracle was in the fruit. Tiny berries — intense in colour and flavour, this meagre crop was vinified in the traditional way. No crushing of berries, no yeast but that from their skins, no fining — additives and no filters. Wine made by itself, kept for two years in the best new French-oak barrels, fit for this wonder.
Finally we could bottle, but the agony was not yet over. After four more years wait for maturation in bottles we reluctantly released the first Méthod Ancienne Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 vintage. So long had we lived with this wine, that to trade it for money was painful. It was a piece of our history, our passion, labour and luck we were selling.
Cabernet Sauvignon (28 years old)
harvested on 23 March 2006, whole berry fermentation with native yeasts, fermented at night in barrels, fermentation by day on skins
2 years new barrel maturation, 4 years bottle maturation
alcohol: 13.2% | acidity: 6.7 g/l | pH: 3.3 | Sugar: 2.3 g/l FSO2: 37 at bottling
slope: steep southerly
soil: rocky terrace