Jeff Leve For different reasons, the 2011 Bordeaux vintage and the 2012 Bordeaux harvest were years that required a lot of work in the cellars and vineyards. As the years roll on, and vintners as well as consumers look back, they will not be remembered as easy vintages. Do you have a preference over 2012 Bordeaux versus 2011 Bordeaux?
Patrick Maroteaux “The 2012 Bordeaux vintage is better quality than 2011. 2012 is a well-structured and beautiful year with intense colors.”
Jeff Leve What was the most difficult or stressful part of the 2012 growing season for you at Chateau Branaire Ducru?
Patrick Maroteaux “Because of the April rains, we had to be careful with the mildew. But this did not affect the sanitary state of the grapes during the harvest. The most difficult part of the growing season in St. Julien was to follow the vineyard through until July.”
Jeff Leve Did the 2012 Bordeaux vintage require extensive sorting for you at Chateau Branaire Ducru?
Patrick Maroteaux “Not really. The crop was sound this year. So we did not spend as much time on sorting the grapes as we did last year, with the 2011 vintage.”
Jeff Leve Did the uneven flowering cause you any major problems at your St. Julien estate?
Patrick Maroteaux “Not so much. For this vintage, we simply needed to follow more accurately the green harvest on some of the plots at Branaire Ducru.”
Jeff Leve What about the challenges due to drought and stress?
Patrick Maroteaux “The drought and stress actually gave a very beautiful potential to the wine for 2012 Branaire Ducru.”
Jeff Leve When did you start and finish harvesting your 2012 crops?
Patrick Maroteaux “We began harvesting on October 2. We finished picking on October 17.”
Jeff Leve How did harvesting this late affect you?
Patrick Maroteaux “We knew from the start that the harvest would be late, due to date of the flowering. Luckily, the good weather allowed us to wait until October to harvest. That late date was helpful as it let us get beautiful maturities.”
Jeff Leve “For your vineyards, do you think any variety performed better this year?
Jeff Leve What alcohol levels are you seeing?
Patrick Maroteaux “The alcohol level in this vintage is 13%.”
Jeff Leve What are your yields for the 2012 Bordeaux vintage?
Patrick Maroteaux “At Branaire Ducru, for the 2012 vintage we have 38 hectoliters per hectare.”
Jeff Leve For the 2012 Bordeaux vintage, will you need to do anything special during the vinification and the elevage?
Patrick Maroteaux “We will perform our vinification and elevage with the same philosophy for Chateau Branaire Ducru. We focus on obtaining freshness along with the best purity of the fruit possible. And of course a lot of finesse.”