Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “After a hard cold and dry winter, we experienced a warm and wet spring. Those conditions led to issues with mildew on the grapes. This was something we have not had problems with for years and being able to do treatments at the right moment was not so easy.”
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “Perhaps the vintage shares the most commonalities with 2004.”
Jeff Leve Compared with 2011, did you need to spend more or less time on sorting this year?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “Sorting was easier with the 2012 Bordeaux vintage. We spent less time as sanitary aspect of grapes were perfect. The difficult point about sorting was being able to select only ripe fruits.”
Jeff Leve Did your bio organic efforts in Margaux help or hinder you with the 2012 Bordeaux vintage?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “We work more and more with bio-organic farming. I have to say that talc and clay treatments helped us a lot against moisture and humidity.”
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “The flowering was better with the Cabernet Sauvignon plots. It was more uneven more in our older Merlot parcels.”
Jeff Leve What did you do to remedy the issues of uneven flowering with both the2012 Marquis d’Alesme and 2012 Labegorce?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “The first work we needed to do was to green harvest, when we cut the third generation bunches. After that, at end of August we spent again time in the vineyard to see if the bunches were late and to take them off if they were. If you do that, you are able to correct what nature didn’t give.”
Jeff Leve Which of your terroirs performed best?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “Our gravely soils are really fragile. After a big rain like we had between October 5 and October 7, you have to be able to react very rapidly. The heavy clay and limestone soils gave really good things because of the capacity to contain moisture.”
Jeff Leve When did you start and finish harvesting 2012 Marquis d’Alesme and 2012 Labegorce?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “We began to pick October 8 and finished 10 days later, October 18.”
Jeff Leve What were the conditions like for you during the harvesting of the 2012 Marquis d’Alesme and 2012 Labegorce?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “Weather conditions were bad for people. But they were not a problem for the grapes. It was more difficult to cut grapes with little rain and low temperatures. It was more difficult to accept the autumn weather we had because the two previous vintages we experienced gave us really nice summer weather conditions during the picking period.”
Jeff Leve How many pickers did you employ for both Margaux estates?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “We hired a total of 120 people to pick and sort the 2012 Bordeaux vintage.”
Jeff Leve Did the delayed harvest cause more problems for you, or the pickers?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “Due to the lateness of the harvest, because we had to wait, it was difficult to find work for our workers in the vineyard that were waiting to start picking.”
Jeff Leve Did you purchase any new equipment this year?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “Yes. We bought a new peristaltique pump for Labegorce. This is an interesting addition as we can use it during the harvest and also after harvesting to rack the wine.”
Jeff Leve What are your yields?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “It’s difficult to say at this point. Our average will be better than last year because we have just pulled out very old parcel that was giving low yields.”
Jeff Leve Do you think any variety performed better in this specific year? If so, which?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “With the 2012 Bordeaux vintage, it’s definitely the Merlot and Petit Verdot that were the most successful varieties for us.”
Jeff Leve What are your alcohol levels with the 2012 Marquis d’Alesme and 2012 Labegorce?
Marjolaine Maurice de Coninck “We are between 13% and 13.5% alcohol with the 2012 Bordeaux vintage.”