Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Journée de vendange 2011@Clos Chossay – Epeigné's 'grand cru'

L'Equipe and the 2011 Cabernet Franc recolte

Shortly before 10am this morning an elite band of pickers started harvesting the 2011 Cabernet Franc at Clos Chossay, Epeigné's only individual producer. Fruit from all the other vines in Epeigné goes to the cave cooperative at Francueil.

Removing the nets 
The last to harvest in the neighbour the precious harvest had to be netted to protect the grapes against the birds:

 Suzie removing netting 

 Mark disentangling grapes from netting

Getting ready to start
The picking
Small well aerated bunches 


Fabrice (above and below)

Another precious bunch harvested
Turning leaf
Picking lasted about an hour: 

2011 Cabernet Franc harvest  

 Group photo@end of picking

Mark models new earings..

Sorting and destemming

The team@work

The tradition at Clos Chossay is to destem by hand – fortunately the harvest is not huge: Clos Chossay remains a 'bijou-garage' estate. 2011 was rot free but with some variable ripening, so unripe grapes had to be separated while destemming. The three bins of Cabernet Franc took about two hours 45 minutes to separate the fruit from the stalks. 

A job for skilled hands and fingers...

Job done - the stems

2011 Cabernet Franc destemmed

Foulage (foot treading)

Preparing two bins for treading

Treading underway: women working – men watch

A growing group of watchers 

2011 Cabernet to the chai – ready to begin fermenting

Crushed grapes

On the way to the chai
Filling the vat (above and below)

La cuverie

Vertical press and drum kit

In all we picked enough Cabernet Franc to give around 70 litres of juice before pressing, which Mark expects to produce about 50 litres of wine with a potential alcohol of 12.8% potential alcohol. This will be blended with the estate's 35 litres of 2011 Côt, which was picked on Tuesday. The 2011 'grand vin' will be bottled in 2011 after a two year élèvage. Over lunch we tried the 2010, which looks promising with attractive red fruits. This is due to be bottled in 2012.     

Winding down

Time to relax after a long day and lunch



Mark said...

Jim, thanks to CRM and yourself for all your hard work - and the great photographs. The Cabernet Franc is happily fermenting away now. I will probably vinify and bottle it separately from the Cot.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Mark. Good to see that you are rolling out the range of Chossay's wines.