Vine Lines - August 2008

We promised no Vine Lines this month, but the urge to talk triumphed over the promise not to, so here we are with the good, glad news that our flagship wine, La Trilogie is in the bag - or in the bottle, rather. This is exciting news for us, because we were not at all certain we could make a blend of our best barrels to rival the much-lauded 2006. True, we got only 1400 bottles out of it this year, and true too, it's early days yet - but this new edition tantalises with promise, and much else besides. Our consultant, Georges Pauli, who is the name behind the nuances of La Trilogie, timed his regular twice-monthly visit in order to be the first to taste it - and that says all there needs to be said about the 2007.

Another fan of La Trilogie is the famous 'Green Guide' to the Meilleurs Vins de France 2009, the big brother of the popular and wholly commendable 'Red Guide' to the Meilleurs Vins de France à Petits Prix 2009, which listed our top chardonnay, Cuvée de l'Odyssée as the best, best value white wine of Limoux. It's all very well being commended as the best, best-value wine at a 'petit' price, but it's even better being listed amongst the best wines of France at any price.... So we are very glad indeed to see our Trilogie 2006 lead the way, with all our other wines hot on its heels in the ponderous pages of this latest Green Guide (excellent tasting notes, incidentally). Also out this month is Patrick Dussert-Gerber's Guide des Vins de France 2009, which also settled on La Trilogie as our best wine, seconded by the chenin blanc, Dédicace .

And so, as the wine writer of all wine writers once wrote, the Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on. Our earlier vintages are getting great press reviews, but our thoughts right now are exclusively on the 2008 wines. A massive clean up operation at this very moment is pulling the whole winery into pristine condition, ready for all the trials and tribulations ahead. You simply cannot be hygienic enough when it comes to the harvest. Wholly oblivious to this, the grapes continue sunning themselves in conditions that range from perfect to near-perfect. The fun starts this week with the first laboratory reports on what is actually going on inside those grapes, and the harvest will probably follow on sometime in mid-September, as inevitable as the next full moon. To paraphrase Omar Khayyam: nor all your Piety nor Wit can lure it back to cancel half a Wine ....

Yes, the writing's on the wall. But it's also in the very weighty Guide des Grands Vins de France 2009 published by the two premier palates of France, Bettane & Desseauve. Rives-Blanques was written up as the Limoux vineyard 'in the ascent', and we only hope that some of their praise will rub off on to our vintage-in-the-making. One promise that will not be broken, is that we will be back this time next month with news about that...

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Sunday August 31, 2008