The average age of the vines on the domain is relatively high, with a variety of different clones. Berthelemot wants to preserve this situation for reasons of genetic diversity by the replanting of certain vines at regular intervals. It prefers to work the soil mechanically giving the right conditions for the vine root system to sink deeply into the ground for the elements which give the wine its character. Pruning in winter is adapted to the size and growth rate of the vine and the volume of crop production planned. Debudding is carried out in spring to avoid overloading the vine with grapes. So that the vegetation has space for growth, the vine shoots are tied up and trained along wires, in successive stages; at the same time, secondary growth close to the grape cluster is removed. After flowering, excess clusters may be removed. In most plots vine leaves are trimmed off to give growth space for the grapes. The ripenss of the grapes is carefully monitored and they are picked by hand. The picked grapes are transported in crates of 30kg to the cellar where they are checked on a sorting table so that only the best and ripest grapes are selected for vinification. Depending on the condition and degree of ripeness, the grapes are sorted and then all or partly destemmed and transferred to tank by an elevator belt so that there is no risk of damage. Where grapes are from different plots in the same appellation,they can be vinified separately. The domain is equipped with open, temperature controlled cylindrical tanks. For the pre-fermentation maceration stage, the grapes may be pre-cooled in the vats to 12°C for 5/8 days during which the skin cells are gradually broken down giving the juice its aroma and colour. As the temperature rises, natural yeasts react and the alcoholic fermentation starts. Selected strains of yeasts may be added in order to slow down the effects of the natural ferments but without hampering the natural development of the wine. The fermentation stage lasts for about 10 to 12 days with stirring and cap plunging at regular intervals so that the grapes are progressively broken up and the phenolic elements (colour, tannin) are extracted. The wine in the vat is tasted daily and remains until it is considered that the extraction process is sufficient and the right degree of tannin obtained. Free run wine and wine from from the pneumatic press (at low pressure and without any breaking up phase) are generally mixed together and left to rest for about one week to clarify naturally. The wines on fine lees are then put in casks – 20 to 25% new casks – to mature for 12 months in a temperature controlled cellar and as for the white wines, the malolactic fermentation occurs in winter or spring. The wine batches are racked and homogenized if necessary, following which they are left to rest for several weeks before filtering and bottling.
This is a beautifully perfumed Pinot Noir with aromas of sweet red berries, subtle savoury spice and firm yet rounded tannins.
Serve decanted at room temperature with a rich braised beef casserole, or a warming, spiced lamb tagine with couscous.