In 2016, capricious Mother Nature also revealed her more generous side, when after several months of heavy rain, flowering occurred amid fortuitous mild weather during the first ten days of June. Only a small amount of coulure in the Merlots gave us every indication of a great harvest. Significant rainfall during the first six months of the season topped up water reserves in the soils, which in turn allowed the vines to withstand a particularly dry summer unscathed. The grapes ripened to perfection under the influence of a fantastic warm and sunny end to the season, giving the tannins time to ripen and become more elegant. Our in-depth knowledge of the vineyard meant we were able to isolate plots or even micro-plots of identical ripeness and handpick batches of fruit of consistent quality.
Driven by our determination to makes wines of only the highest quality, for the first time we trialled densimetric sorting on a proportion of the harvest in a bid to retain only the ripest berries. Each parcel was effectively vinified « à la carte », in order to maximise the potential quality of the grapes, enhancing the richness and concentration of the Merlots and the fruit precision in the lightly spiced Cabernet Franc. It’s looking like a really great vintage at Château Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac.