More than a winemakers’ vintage: a vintage that required cool-headedness and a tailored approach!
If there are vintages for which the precision of the work in the vineyard is particularly important, then 2011 is a fine example!
The dry weather and early development of the vines were key factors for this vintage, and it was thanks to the precision of the work in the vineyard that we were able to extract the full potential of every plot.
Leaves were removed in the spring on a parsimonious basis, depending on each vine; the first green harvests take into account the age of the vines and their root development, with a view to avoiding stress. This meticulous work carried out by the Château’s permanent team continued after the beneficial rain in mid-July with a second removal of leaves and thinning of the bunches in August in order ensure uniform ripening, which had been uneven due to the dry weather between May and July. The minimum use of pesticides approach (full ploughing, grassing, no herbicides, mixed hedges surrounding the vineyard…) initiated more than ten years ago also contributes to balanced ripening and the aromatic complexity of the grapes, particularly in the more complicated vintages…
At harvest, the grapes had reached optimal ripeness with very satisfactory balances, but selection was still important and extremely thorough. More successive sortings were necessary for the white grapes than for a more classic vintage, and the sorting of the red grapes was a huge task.
In the vats, the extractions were slow, but we prefer to let time have its effect… This patience is rewarded because as a result of this slow process, the grapes release silky, beautifully formed tannins.
The wines produced at Malartic-Lagravière in 2011 offer superb purity of fruit, very rich and yet also very refined, accompanied by a silky, elegant, complex tannin structure. Definitely a vintage to taste as soon as you can!