January 2021 / Grape Harvest 2020
A few words from the Estate Manager
Thanks to plenty of autumn sunshine, we started the last grape harvest a week earlier than usual - on 7 September to be exact - and finished on 27 September. That's just three weeks to bring the fruit of a whole year's labour safely into the cellar.
Ours is a daily job in wind and weather, sometimes helped by Mother Nature and sometimes not. Indeed, Mother Nature sent us some challenges last year: a great deal of rainfall in the spring, which brought with it persistent dampness, causing an attack of fungus (downy mildew) of unprecedented severity in many parts of France, and particularly in the Languedoc. It took a lot of hard work to combat this infestation, including a good number of night shifts. But it paid off in the end, and we survived. The musts are of good quality, even though we lost some volume.
Our white grape varieties are showing promise: the Grenache blanc ist excellent and the Bourboulenc has reassuring golden glow. Our red grape varieties are coming along very nicely too. The Syrah has done well and offers a versatile, intensely aromatic potential. This is also because we have successfully tried and applied a vinification technique that gives it even more velvety mellowness. The old Carignan vines show hints of candied fruit, and the Grenache noir will allow us to develop our allfruit rosé further in this direction by blending it with Cinsault.
In what was in every way a special year thanks to Covid-19, the competitions were also affected - in some cases cancelled altogether or, at best, postponed. We are therefore delighted to have been awarded seven medals last year. We won two medals for our red CHAMPS ROUGE 2018 - gold at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and silver at the Decanter. There were also four medals for our barrique-aged red AUSINES 2018 - gold at the Terre de Vins, a silver each at Mondial de Bruxelles and Vinalies Internationales, and bronze at the Decanter. Our 2019 Rosé SARRIETTE won a bronze medal at the Decanter.
Winter is the time for extensive work in the vineyard - 35 hectares of land planted with vines have to be pruned by hand.
Onwards and upwards!
Yours, David Amiel
Spring 2019 / May 2019
A few words from the Estate Manager
After a mild and dry winter, the vegetative development of the vines is two weeks more advanced than in a "normal" year.
We have now planted 1.30 hectares in Laquirou with a new grape variety - Grenache Gris. This is a typical Mediterranean grape variety, which should help us to perfect our rosé wines. For the second year in a row, we have installed aerosol puffers in the vineyards for organic control of the crossed grape moth, following the success of last year's experiment.
In the meantime, we have also bottled our ROSE SARRIETTE 2018 MAGNUM in attractive bottles. The Magnum size is ideal for a barbecue party with the whole family or with friends on a glorious summer's day.
The summer season could not have started better either, as three of our cuvées have received an award in 2019:
- CHAMPS ROUGE 2017 won GOLD at the Concours International des Vins Biologiques, Amphore de Paris.
- Our AUSINES 2017 - matured in barrique oak - was awarded SILVER at the Concours des Vinalies Internationales de Paris.
- And our ROSE SARRIETTE 2018 won GOLD at the Concours Féminalise de Beaune.
The entire Château Laquirou team is looking forward to welcoming you and presenting our cuvées during your next visit
Yours, David Amiel.
The Concours Mondial des Vins Féminalise employs an innovative and convincing concept - the wines, which come from all over the world, are tasted exclusively by women who are wine professionals or experienced connoisseurs.
Thanks to his 30 years' experience as a wine competition organiser, founder Didier Martin recognises the economic influence that women have on the world of wine. In 2007, he had the original idea of creating the Féminalise competition, which has been an international event since 2015.
In the heart of the French capital, over 600 international wine tasters meet every year for a spectacular wine tasting event that attracts huge media attention.
A few words from the Estate Manager
Thanks to a rainy spring, our vines were ideally prepared to cope with the long and dry summer in La Clape. However, the risk of fungal disease in our grapes increased dramatically as a result and the reason we remained largely unaffected was two-fold. Firstly, owing to our position between mountains and sea we benefited from changeable and powerful air flows, and secondly, on the ground, we put in many additional hours tending the vineyards. On top of all this, the Languedoc region experienced its worst mildew epidemic for 50 years.
Despite all these potential setbacks, we were fortunate to be able to harvest this year's crop under optimal conditions. Indeed, no sooner had we got the last load of grapes safely into the cellar than the rain began. The timing couldn't have been better!
At the moment, we are putting the finishing touches to our wines in the cellar and the first tastings are promising a remarkably good quality 2018 vintage. We hope you're as excited as we are! Yours, David Amiel.
Welcome - at long last, our new website is online!
And so is our latest newsletter! As you read, discover the unique features of our AOP La Clape vineyard. With our insider tips, we entice you on a journey - be it in your mind or with a visit to our winery. Of course, there is plenty to tell you about the wine year too. We are also particularly proud that we are now officially one of the best wine-growing regions in France - a recognition that can never be taken for granted.
The harvest is over. A huge thank you to everyone involved and here's to a healthy crop! Our vines coped really well with the weather conditions. Drought, low rainfall and heat are not uncommon on La Clape - conditions mirrored this year in almost all the wine-growing regions of Europe. But our vines have deep roots so that even a sinking groundwater level only resulted in limited drought stress while the on-shore winds provided sufficient cooling throughout the day. In addition, it rained extensively in spring, so our vines were able to cope well with the hot and dry summer. In any case, we are looking forward to this particular red wine vintage, which is now maturing in our oak casks. Our white wines demand a little less in the way of patience - the first bottles will be available as early as spring 2019, and our rosé may well be ready to serve at your next party.
We are pleased to have been awarded one medal for our Albus white wine at CONCOURS DES VINS FÉMINALISE 2018:
- Silver medal for our ALBUS 2017
We also recommend our 2017 award-winning white and red wines, which you can order conveniently from our Shop.
- ALBUS 2016: Silver CONCOURS GENERAL AGRICOLE PARIS 2017
- AUREUS PRESTIGE 2014: Gold VINALIES INTERNATIONALES 2017
- CHAMPS ROUGE 2015: Silver DECANTER 2017
- CHAMPS ROUGE 2016: Silver MILLESIME BIO 2018 - Silver VINALIES NATIONALES 2018 - Bronze DECANTER 2018
- AUSINES 2015: Silver DECANTER 2017 - Bronze CONCOURS DES GRANDS VINS DE FRANCE MÂCON 2017
- AUSINES 2016: Bronze CONCOURS GENERAL AGRICOLE 2018 - Bronze Decanter 2018