Morrell & Co. Wine Catalog

FALL 2018

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Page 48 of 183

xxx | 49 MORRELL FINE WINE AND SPIRITS V ISIT u S AT MORRELLWINE .c OM cALL 800.96.WINES (800.969.4637) i n The Vineyards The biggest breath of fresh air was to see a sincere connection to terroir. At nearly every chateau we visited, producers talked in depth about their soil types, exposures, and how they are changing the way they're thinking about vineyard management. This goes well beyond the most widely-known chateau to go organic, Chateau l atour in Pauillac. In fact, at Chateau Palmer in m argaux, Thomas Duroux is not stopping at organic viticulture; he's talking about biodiversity, a reintroduction of trees and flowers back amongst the vines. Granted, this isn't going to happen overnight, but it was thrilling all the same, just to see the passion behind his words. Another of note is Pontet Canet, also in Pauillac, where organic and even biodynamic practices have taken hold. Speaking of biodynamics, the venerable Chateau l e Puy of St.-Émilion has been practicing it for decades. Simply put, there's no shortage of organic producers in Bordeaux, it's just that most of them haven't started to advertise that they've put them to work. Going back to Chateau Palmer, which was one of the most enlightening vineyard tours I enjoyed on the trip, another trend that we are witnessing in Bordeaux became clear: a focus on rows and vines. When I used to think about Bordeaux vineyards, the vision of large tracts of land came to mind, of picking, fermenting and aging in large blocks. Yet this is no longer the case at many of the top estates. Within each winery, I witnessed fermentation tanks of various shapes and sizes, and the reason for this new development is a true focus on terroir, a system of farming, picking and fermenting by rows or parcels, of locating specific portions within the vineyard that share similarities and giving them unique care prior to assembling for the aging process. This very Burgundian approach has triggered a whole new level of experimentation, as the likes of Chateau Palmer are even aging parcels in barrels of various sizes. o ur tasting with Thomas included two different versions of the 2017 Grand v in, one from their classic approach and another from large barrels. Both were excellent, yet I couldn't help but love the textures imparted by those big barrels. It was a whirlwind visit, with an average of five appointments a day, making if difficult to take it all in, yet I kept my notebook handy as often as possible, along with my camera and recorder in hand. Through it all, the insights and experiences have given me a whole new outlook on Bordeaux, and especially about the people behind the scenes. Returning to the Bordeaux city center to attend Fete de la Fleur was bittersweet, as part of me ached for home, while another part wished there was time to explore, but as these trips go, time is at a premium. With Jetlag still tugging at my sleep, I found the perfect time to tour the city, around 5am on a Saturday, and the tourist in me took control. ✦

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