Benoit Trocard “With the 2012 Bordeaux vintage, the Merlot is a winner this year!”
Jeff Leve What previous year does the 2012 Bordeaux vintage remind you of at this stage of the game?
Benoit Trocard “1998 and 2008, because 2012 turned out to be a great year for Merlot. In this vintage, we have the perfect ripeness of 2008 with the balance of 1998.”
Jeff Leve What was the most difficult or stressful part of the growing season this year at Clos Dubreuil?
Benoit Trocard “For us, it was May, June and beginning of July. At that time, it was difficult to enter the fields to fight the diseases, to cut the grass underneath the row.”
Jeff Leve Compared to 2011, a year which was known to demand extensive sorting, did you need to spend more or less time on sorting the 2012 Bordeaux harvest?
Benoit Trocard “We actually spent less time sorting the 2012 Bordeaux vintage.”
Jeff Leve Why?
Benoit Trocard “I pushed the ripening and harvested faster, which required less sorting.”
Benoit Trocard “No I have been able to spray in time. We did not develop botrytis at Clos Dubreuill. We did have some issues with mildew on the grapes at the beginning of the season and there were other potential issues with diseases. But we successfully managed those problems with green harvesting and spraying when necessary.”
Jeff Leve How much green harvesting did you perform in the 2012 Bordeaux vintage?
Benoit Trocard “We did 2 green harvests this year. The first one took place early, when the grapes were still green. The second green harvesting was performed after the grapes changed color.”
Jeff Leve Did you have problems the late rain storms that struck just before harvest in St. Emilion?
Benoit Trocard “No. This is because Clos Dubreuil is located on the clay and limestone plateau the vines never suffer of any drought.”
Jeff Leve How did that help you with the 2012 Bordeaux vintage?
Benoit Trocard “When the rains came before the harvest, the natural drainage of the slopes plus the permeability of the clay helped to prevent from dilution. That is not the case on gravel and sand terroir.”
Jeff Leve When did you start and finish harvesting?
Benoit Trocard “We began October 15 and finished 4 days later, October 19. I was very happy to be able to wait for the perfect ripening. But you need to remember, the later it is, the more unstable the weather can be and that is quite stressful. This is why I decided to wait the maximum amount of time possible.”
Jeff Leve What were the conditions like for you during harvest?
Benoit Trocard “The weather was quite warm, on average, 22-24 degrees Celsius. We had some rain as you know, but with the two sorting tables, the elimination of the first juices after destemming and small perforated plastic containers for the grapes, we were able to eliminate all the water.”
Jeff Leve Did you purchase any new equipment or renovate your wine making facilities this year?
Benot Trocard “Yes, we added a new de-stemming machine and new tanks.”
Jeff Leve For the 2012 vintage, what are your alcohol levels?
Benoit Trocard “We were able to reach 14% alcohol.”
Jeff Leve What will you be doing during vinification and the elevage of your 2012 Clos Durbrieul and your Pomerol wine?
Benoit Trocard “The 2012 Bordeaux vintage requires careful, slow wine making with a soft, long extraction. We will need about 5 weeks for the entire process of the 2012 Clos Durbrieul vintage.”