It is a long process in a technician's mind as the picture of the vintage is getting clearer and clearer from the picking to the “dégustations d’assemblage” (blending tastings). Each vintage gives me a particular emotion, the most complicated are the biggest vintages: 2010, 2015, 2016. They have a very special place, but the first tastings of 2018 made me think the privileged place would be soon occupied by this new vintage, which offered exceptional promises. The quality of Rauzan-Ségla 2018 has exceeded my expectations over time, it is an extraordinary vintage for Rauzan-Ségla. It has the taste of victory because we worked hard to get it.
There are many details involved at different stages in both vineyard and winery. One of the most important roles is, without dispute, the hard work we have done in the vineyard all through the long growing season. Key steps in 2018 were: - significant rainfalls during the winter thanks to which the water tables were full to give the vine sufficient reserves to draw on in the summer. - a spring punctuated by violent storms that complicated the work in the vineyard - temperatures a little higher than normal but not excessive which enabled a slow, progressive and perfect maturing. It required constant watchfulness.
It is always difficult to answer as seasons and years are never the same. Nevertheless, the vegetative cycle is close to 2016 with less hot soils loaded with water and cool nights in August. The maturities were refined with more gentleness, and we did not suffer from scalding sun on the Merlot. It could be a cross between 2015 & 2016: 2015 for the generosity of the fruit and 2016 for its density.
I’m still learning .... that is the magic of our work. It never stops, I learn from the terroir and from the team.
My influences in life in general are Antoine de St Exupéry and Bob Marley.
In addition to a common desire to drive our vineyards in a reasonable and committed way, my primary desire is to express the terroir in its specificity. We want to combine the terroir and its specificity and the meeting of the two is different from one estate to another.
Enclosed in the vineyard of Château Canon, the 10 hectares planted with Merlot and Cabernet Franc overlook the western hillside of Saint-Emilion and gently bend towards the Dordogne. The footprint of the limestone plateau of St Emilion is very present here and its potential to produce wines that are racy, precise and elegant is undeniable. With Berliquet, over the months, the conclusion was reached that its extraordinary terroir, slightly different from Canon with its more pronounced clay imprint, was a solid basis for building a singular wine.
The biggest improvements will come from an even better precise work in the vineyard and in the cellars. I just want my teams to sublimate their daily job to approach perfection step by step, with humility.
Bordeaux is always Bordeaux, wines that make you dream. It is a concentration of extraordinary terroirs and wines sealed in history. It's up to us to maintain our leading position, to seduce our consumers all over the world again and again.