Ch Petit Gravet Aîné 2019
This is a tiny, 2.5-hectare vineyard in the Saint Emilion foothills, situated right next door to (west of) Château Canon-La Gaffelière in deep, sandy/clay soils. Density is 5,500 vines/ha. The very unusual encépagement mixes 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot whose average age is 50 years. Owner-winemaker, Catherine Papon-Nouvel, converted to organic farming and as such is using no pesticides, herbicides, or systemic chemical treatments; she is now certified as an organic grower. All the fruit was hand-harvested and carefully table-sorted: Merlot on September between 20th and 28th and the Cabernet Franc on October 5th. Yields in 2018 were 40 hls/ha. After a cold soak @ 6°C, the must was fermented in small, stainless steel, tanks with a 23-day cuvaison. The technique of microbullage under the cap was used during fermentation. Malo was carried out in 100% new French oak barrels from Taransaud, Darnajou and Ana Selection. Total aging ran 12 months. The blend mirrors the encépagement – 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. 14%. 10,000 bottles are to be produced, representing 100% grand vin.
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