A knowledge of the craft
The reds are composed essentially of merlots and cabernets francs. Sémillons, sauvignons and muscadelles make up the whites. All the grapes are meticulously vine-selected before delivery to the cellar. No chemicals are ever used and all work on the vines is strictly manual, including close guyot cuts to limit vine yield, turning over the first 20cm of earth to increase oxygen intake, disbudding to aerate vine stocks, pruning, green-harvesting...
After being picked from the vine, red grape varieties are fermented either in stainless steel vats or wooden truncated conical vats, depending on the final destination of the extracted juice. The stainless steel vats are pumped over twice daily and the wooden conical vats are cap-punched eight to ten times throughout the entire fermentation process. This process of maceration lasts anywhere from a fortnight to three weeks. The best juices undergo malolactic fermentation in oak barrels, where they are left to age for roughly 14 months. Blending is not carried out until after aging is complete. For the Lucullus cuvée, grapes are left to age for up to 18 months, a process for which a higher percentage of new casks are used.
Our whites are vinified à la bourguignonne, meaning that after a soft pressing, the grapes are left to age in 400L barrels. Our sémillons, sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris have all come into their own on limestone and clay soils; the muscadelle has achieved excellence on flint. After a brief skin maceration, the grapes are pressed, placed in vats and finally cold-settled in order to remove coarse lees. The juices are fermented separately in 400L barrels that have already held two or three other vintages. Over the course of the ten to eleven month fermentation process, stirring is conducted to place the fine lees in suspension. At the end, the juices are blended.