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Chateau La Grave Figeac, Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2015
65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc
Beautiful, velvety deep purple colour. Intense complex nose, aromas of dark fruits. Generous on the palate, fleshy yet pleasantly fresh. Finish of dark fruits, plums and cigar box and a hint of roasted coffee beans.
One hectare of the cabernet franc vines are 100 years old which definitely play their part as surely does organic viticulture. Sensitively aged in one third each of new oak, one year old barrel and cuvee, yields of 31hh are very low for the appellation. Grapes are all destemmed. Prefermentive cold maceration for 24 hours at 10 degrees C. Grapes are lightly crushed before fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation in concrete vats for 10 days (at 24C; max 28C) using selected yeasts (only one third of the normal dose). No chaptalisation. Vats are thermoregulated. 2 to 4 pumping over and cap punching per day during fermentation. 15 to 20 days cuvaison. 1 to 2 pumping over and cap punching every other day during cuvaison. Pressed with a vertical hydraulic press. Press wine is aged separately and then blended before bottling. Aged for 12 months (on average) in concrete vats (1/3) and 228L barrels (1/3 new and 1/3 one wine) with one or two racking for the wines kept in barrels. No batonnage, light filtration if needed and fining with egg white. One bottling in March or April, done by a service provider. 25 to 35.000 bottles produced on average.
Chateau La Grave Figeac is a 6.5ha St-Emilion Grand Cru domaine located on the Figeac plateau in the north west of the appellation, right on the border with Pomerol. Surrounded on all sides by Cheval Blanc, Figeac and La Conseillante, the vineyards are extraordinarily well placed.
This sector of St-Emilion is very different from the rest of the appellation; its free-draining siliceous-clay gravelly soils are a direct continuation of the Pomerol plateau, and particularly well-suited to cabernet franc which accounts for 35% of all plantings at La Grave Figeac, and brings a degree of finesse and restraint seldom seen in St-Emilion. There is also a little ‘crasse de fer’ (iron oxide) in the soil, mostly found in Pomerol, bringing an irony element to the wine, mingled with the flavour of truffles that mark the unique identity of La Grave Figeac.
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