As you know, the sun and the grapes’ great sanitary condition have made the 2015 vintage a very good one.
The only concern during harvest: that the heat would make the grapes too soft, resulting in fuller wines, with no acidity and therefore less liveliness. Brigitte, our oenologist, put all her talents and knowledge to work to adjust the PH (the perceived acidity on the palate) during vinification.
During its transformation into wine, the grape juices go through two fermentation processes:
- The alcoholic fermentation that transforms sugar into alcohol thanks to its yeast (rigorously selected, it allows the wine to develop a complexity of aromas)
- and the malolactic fermentation that transforms the lactic acid into malic acid thanks to its bacteria (beneficial and intended for wine!)
Our main goal: quality. To achieve this aim, the Maison Labouré Roi works in partnership with a regional laboratory which provides valuable indications allowing us to adapt our dosage. Therefore, each year, we apply a method of vinification that is best suited to our musts. A quality oriented know-how for a unique vinification process.
Regional appellations are vinified with systematically controlled temperatures, which must remain around 18 degrees. Nothing is better for a good wine than an extraction of flavors, and to do this the yeasts must be put under stress. Then comes the barreling process, which varies according to different wines, and creates their foundation and structure.
Brigitte conducts an indispensable follow-up throughout the year, one barrel at a time, she tastes and analyzes samples every 3 weeks to determine the wines’ evolution; beautiful babies born in 2015 that will become great wines.
The process is slightly different for the Villages and Grand Crus appellations, the vinification (for 7 to 8 days) is done in vats because of the higher alcohol level. Then, when alcoholic fermentation is three-quarters done, we pour the wines into barrels.
This year, we conducted a very thorough selection of new oak barrels. To obtain the desired result, Brigitte and the Maison Labouré-Roi team have worked with 6 different cooperages in order to acquire the best possible barrels, and to find an ideal diversity and complexity for our wines.
Twice a day, samples are collected from each barrel and a tasting of each wine ensues. The next step consists of assembling the barrels among them, this is where Brigitte creates the unique character of the Maison Labouré-Roi wines. Then we proceed with the filtration and bottling processes. Once more, a daily monitoring of our wines allows us to determine the optimal date and time for the bottling to start.
Traditionally, a “Grand Blanc de Bourgogne” wine is aged in oak barrels for 12 months. For the 2015 vintage, 10 months sufficed, so we are now moving on to the bottling. Each vintage calls for a unique vinification process!