|1 + 1 = 3|
The vineyards of Château la Tulipe are planted with four different species of grape. The two main ones are Merlot, 75%, and Cabernet sauvignon, 15%.
Merlot is a soft, precocious woman’s grape, well known for her velvety smooth flavour. Her juices are luscious, sometimes almost sweet. In describing her aromas, wine journalists tend to resort to the entire vegetable stand as well as the florist. I quote: ‘Black currants, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, violets, blackberries, juicy figs and dark plums.’ It’s just short of pornographic.
Cabernet is a real man, a tough-guy grape. A grape with hair on its teeth. Stubborn, stocky and not ripe until late in the year, with a thick skin. He renders a dark-coloured wine rich in tannins. To describe him we need to drop round to our local corner-shop because, apart from blackcurrants, he reminds our esteemed experts of: ‘pencil shavings, cigar boxes, tobacco, licorice root and dark chocolate.’
|Our vineyard is subdivided into around thirty different plots, each yielding their own unique product. The harvest from each mini vineyard matures in its own vat. The vintage 2012 is now stored in thirty separate tanks. After roughly a year and a half of ripening, those thirty separate flavours need to be united in one wine.|
Yin and Yang, Rolls and Royce, Lennon and McCartney. By merging two different elements in the right way, something can arise that far transcends its origins.
This same synergie happens to wine. When you manage to combine the right types of grapes, it results in a wine richer from taste than the two of them apart.
Assembling wine is a fine art and a sought after hallmark of quality in which France has a rich history.
Since I bought my château I participate in it myself and it’s far from easy. The mixing of grape varieties is a delicate alchemy that requires years of experience and the patience of a tortoise.
|You only drink one bottle a day, so it needs to be a decent one. You rely on it to spoil your lover and very best friends. So, wine needs to be solid as a rock. Just like a building, it needs to be constructed.|
In order to do that we analyse the building blocks of each barrel individually: structure, tannins, acidity, scent, colour, fruitiness, complexity and taste.