Looking at the size and colour of the grapes. Feeling the fruit to assess its density. Crunching the grapes to evaluate the firmness of the skins and the quality of the juice. Tasting the grapes’ freshness and sweet ripeness. Picking is a crucial step in the process of ensuring purity in the wine. We pick at a point, when we hope to obtain aromatic purity by selecting ripe grapes and organoleptic purity by harvesting undamaged fruit. We take special care of the wine, when we are picking the fruit.
Sorting is the operation that involves choosing only the very finest grapes amongst all the lovely fruit that has been picked. Only the real caviar is kept, the very best of the best. This is where the concept of precision comes into its own, because the output of the sorting operation directly determines the quality and thus the purity in the wine. At Château Laroze, we sort fruit on a like-for-like basis: of the same grape variety and from areas of the vineyard with similar characteristics.
At Château Laroze, we know that when we press the fruit, we are extracting the very essence of the grape, so the winemaking teams do everything they can to accomplish this as delicately as possible. Their aim is to extract the juice slowly and gradually, while allowing for the fragility of the grapes.
While there is only one wine once it is in the bottle, throughout the winemaking process different musts and wines are refined separately. Each grape variety is vinified apart, and within one variety, then within one parcel, each category of grape and juice is processed in separate tanks, so that our overriding goal of achieving organoleptic purity can be meaningfully pursued. By enabling the aromatic characteristics and balance of each must extracted from the fruit of each separate parcel to be expressed, and by tasting each batch to monitor its evolution, we ensure a solid foundation for the resulting purity of the finished wine.
This is certainly the most challenging step in the process of achieving purity in the wine, because once it is in wood, we are trying to achieve the transformation of a product already crafted by Man.
Hence why the previous operations are so important. Because as we gradually get to understand how the wine is evolving, we are able to refine our choices with regard to the containers in which it will be optimally aged. These choices concern the type and origin of wood used to make the barrels, the proportion of barrels and clay vessels to be used, the length of ageing, etc. They require crucial decisions to be made amongst a wide range of options. Each batch is aged separately, because it is unique, the idea being that it will eventually be used in the final blend, like a piece meticulously fashioned to make up a mosaic that is essential for the beauty and balance of the finished work.
The objective is to safeguard the balances, while preserving and enhancing the many layers of flavour and the bouquet of aromas.
The famous final touch! The operation that assembles the different components of the wine, hitherto crafted separately so as to ensure the greatest organoleptic purity and best aromatic expression possible. It involves bringing it all together and making it into one harmonised whole, like a symphony orchestra.
Achieving the level of purity that will lead to a true journey of the senses.
Welcome to the world of Château Laroze.