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Intimate Secrets

Intimate Secrets

Michel Rolland (WMC 1 - 2005)

The vines were meticulously tended: early leaf thinning, systematic removal of secondary shoots, and leaving behind only the most homogeneously ripe bunches during green harvesting.

The grapes were all hand picked prior to reaching a state of overripeness. Twenty percent of the juice was bled off from vat and fermentation began after 10 days of cold pre-fermentation maceration.

Extraction was intense during 5 weeks of maceration. Malolactic fermentation took place in new oak barrels.

Barrel ageing lasted 16 months. The wines were bottled without fining or filtering.

Denis Dubourdieu (WMC 2 - 2006)

The vineyard plots that produced this wine were all ploughed.

The leaves were thinned just once and less ripe bunches were removed in August during green harvesting. The grapes were all hand picked. These were ripe, but not overripe.

Fermentation was done traditionally, without excessive pumping over and 20% of the juice was bled off from vat.

Maceration lasted 3 weeks. The wine was put into oak barrels (one half new and one half used for one previous vintage) after malolactic fermentation and aged for 12 months.

It was fined with egg white and lightly filtered before bottling.

Andréa Franchetti (WMC 3 – 2007)

The Italian winemaker used the same viticultural practices as his predecessor: ploughing, leaf thinning, green harvesting to remove late-ripening bunches, and hand picking.

Fermentation began without prior maceration and 25% of juice was bled off from vat. The vatting period was very short. The wine was run off before the end of alcoholic fermentation and the press wine was reincorporated with the free run juice just after pressing.

Twenty percent of the wine finished alcoholic fermentation in new oak barrels containing 80 kg of pomace. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. The wine was aged in oak barrels (both new and used for one previous vintage) for 15 months.

Stéphane Derenoncourt (WMC 4 – 2008)

Stéphane decided to use green cover for part of the vineyard used to make his cuvée. Green pruning consisted of drastically eliminating side shoots and removing all underipe grapes during véraison (colour change). Special care was taken during hand picking to bring in only fruit in prime condition.

Fermentation began as soon as the vats were filled and 25% of the juice was bled off. Extraction was enhanced thanks to numerous rack and return operations.

The wine stayed on the skins for three weeks and aged in oak for 14 months (50% new barrels and 50% barrels used for one previous vintage) after malolactic fermentation.

Eric Boissenot (WMC 5 – 2010)

The vineyard plots were all ploughed. Light leaf thinning was practised and there was no green harvesting.

The grapes, all picked by hand, were fermented in the time-honoured Médoc tradition: light pumping over in each vat and non-interventionist winemaking at the end of alcoholic fermentation. The wine stayed on the skins for 21 days and malolactic fermentation took place in vat. The press wines were put into barrel as soon as they came out of the winepress and were incorporated into the final blend.

The wine was aged in oak barrels (both new and used for one previous vintage) for 16 months and fined with egg whites in barrel.

Zelma Long (WMC 6 – 2011)

The vineyard plots were entirely ploughed. Side shoots were completely removed and leaf thinning was practised. On ne laisse qu’une grappe par rameau. The grapes were picked by hand once 200 grams had been analysed in each plot to confirm optimum ripeness.

Twenty percent of the crop was fermented in open new oak barrels, with pigeage (punching down the cap).

Maceration lasted only two weeks. The wine was aged in barrel for 14 months after malolactic fermentation.

Susana Balbo (WMC 7 – 2012)

In 2012, Susana Balbo did not change the way the vines were tended. Ploughing, leaf thinning, and green harvesting were done on all plots.

After bleeding off 10% of the juice, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel vats with oak planks. The wine stayed on the skins for a full 4 weeks.

It was then aged in oak (new barrels and ones used for one previous vintage) for 9 months before early bottling, which took place in September 2013, to retain maximum fruitiness.

Ntsiki Biyela (WMC 8 – 2013)

There was no green harvesting for this vintage with low yields. The vineyard plots were ploughed and leaf thinning was done.

Ntsiki picked the grapes when they were quite fresh and fermented them at just the right temperature to maintain quality. The wine then underwent a short (2-week) maceration prior to ageing in oak barrels (1/2 new and 1/2 used for one previous vintage).

Dany Rolland (WMC 9 – 2014)

Once again, work in the vineyard proved to be of the utmost importance. An initial leaf thinning was done, followed by the thorough elimination of side shoots, green harvesting, and a second leaf thinning 20 days prior to picking.

The white wine grapes were picked very ripe and entirely fermented in new oak barrels for 8 months.

The red wine grapes were also picked when perfectly ripe. Twenty percent of the crop was fermented in new oak barrels.

The remainder underwent alcoholic fermentation in vat after 10 days of cold maceration. The wine stayed on the skins for a total of 4 weeks. It was then aged in oak barrels (both new and used for one previous vintage) for 17 months.

Alain Raynaud (WMC 10– 2015)

In 2015, Alain Raynaud decided to use green cover in plots of Merlot to reduce the vigour of the vines.

The white wine grapes were picked when ripe, then cooled before pressing and entirely fermented in new barrels.

Fifteen percent of the red wine crop was fermented in 5-hectolitre oak barrels with a transparent bottom enabling the process to be closely followed. The remainder was kept in vats maintained at a temperature of 10°C for 8 days, with gentle extraction. The wine stayed on the skins for one month and was aged in oak barrels (both new and used for one previous vintage).

Hubert de Boüard (WMC 11- 2016)

A mild winter saw an early start to the 2016 growing season, whereas a wet spring was more consistent with seasonal weather patterns.

Hubert de Bouärd insisted on green pruning such as removing secondary shoots and leaf thinning on two occasions in order to limit the development of fungal diseases. Summer was extremely hot and dry, interrupted by a much-needed rainy period in September that enabled the grapes to reach full maturity. The white wine grapes were picked in two passes in order to bring in only golden-yellow, perfectly ripe grapes.

After light pressing and refrigeration, the Sauvignon Blanc grapes were left on their lees for nearly 3 weeks to gain complexity and aromatic finesse. Alcoholic fermentation took place in new barrels, half French and half acaciawood in order to highlight Sauvignon Blanc's intrinsic fruitiness.

Lees stirring occurred twice a week for three months to preserve the wine's freshness and colour. It was aged a total of 12 months on the lees, at an early stage and délestage (rack and return) was practised repeatedly to concentrate the wine while respecting its balance.

Malolactic fermentation took place early on in vat, enabling us to put the wine into barrel on its lees at a high temperature (25°C) to encougage good integration of the oak.