Sunday, October 19, 2014

Harvest 2014 - the reds

Syrah lees or the gunk at the bottom of the tank
Here at Domaine Jones our main red grapes are Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. These grapes will either go into our Fitou (a blend of all 3) or kept separate as single varietels.  As each of our 25 vineyards are fermented separately it means that not only do we have a lot of small vats and barrels but we keep our options wide open until we get to know each wine intimately and then blend or not in April 2015.

The Syrah usually comes in first, except for our high altitude vineyard, followed by the Carignan and Grenache.  This year was even more exciting than usual as we have invested in a vibrating sorting table!  We did think of a couple of uses for the table which had absolutely nothing to do with the harvest but its main purpose is to make sure make that all stalks and leaves are removed before putting the grapes into vat.  The top grapes for La Perle Rare are inspected by no less than 8 people on their bumpy journey down the table to the awaiting open barrel.

The top wines then received more VIP treatment barrel as the grapes were gently squeezed by 3 pairs of feet twice a day for 7 days.

Although it is still early days, as we have only just started to press the Syrah, (usually after about 20 days) the wine is already showing a great concentration, lovely fruit and a great balance.

For the wines that ferment in vat we do twice daily pump overs to extract colour and structure from the skins.

I'd also like to give a special mention for our awesome vineyard of 80 year old grenache in Maury that surpassed itself this year and gave us the biggest crop we have ever had.  The wine is fermenting away and smells absolutely heavenly!