Our red wine is of a rare pedigree. A rare tension from beginning to end which helps to bring the concentration under control. Balance, elegance and depth are the words which come to mind at the moment to describe this wine which needs time to develop.
This vintage is unique in the way it played out and is characterised by some extreme climatic conditions. After a cold and wet period during bud break, followed 3 months which alternated between wet and warm weather. At the end of June no one at Fieuzal would have guessed that we would have such a high quality harvest.
In our vineyard we had fairly classic bud burst between the end of March and the end of April, with a frosty period at the end of April which had a great impact on the future harvest. Then, heavy rainfall not only made flowering difficult but also managing the foliage and controlling vine diseases. Managing the vineyard by organic viticulture, which we undertook across the whole vineyard in 2016, turns out to be very rewarding but also very stressful.
Between July and October, the mild weather arrived with favourable temperature ranges (warm and dry during the day and cool at night), despite several stormy periods, which gave us an even veraison and then set the grapes up well with water reserves never seen before on our gravelly soils.
Maturing was slow, which guaranteed excellent quality skins and seeds!
As we have done over the past few years we adapt our extractions to each grape variety and each vintage.
We also pay special attention to the ageing in order to extract the character of each of the 4 grape varieties and also their origin. Hence, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are matured in one year old barrels, mainly 225L but also some 400L. Some amphorae are being used as an experiment with great success on these delicate Fieuzal grape varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are traditionally aged in new wood in 25L and 400L sizes.