Since Jeremy Chasseuil took over managing Feytit Clinet, following the expiration of their lease with J.P Moueix, things have never been better for this small, 15 acre Pomerol property which is located not far from Chateau Clinet, Trotanoy and Latour A’ Pomerol. Since the 2005 Bordeaux vintage, Chasseuil has really started turning things at the estate. Pomerol is perhaps the most expensive appellation in the Bordeaux region. Feytit Clinet is a contender for the best value in the entire Pomerol appellation. For a wine of this quality, it is still reasonably priced. Jeremy Chasseuil, like many owners of smaller wineries has his hand in everything from picking, to wine making to washing the barrels. Chasseuil shared some of his thoughts on the often difficult 2011 Bordeaux harvest.
Jeff Leve: What do you think the style of 2011 Bordeaux vintage will be known for?
Jeremy Chasseuil “2011 Feytit Clinet will have a great balance between alcohol and acidity. It will be a typical style of Bordeaux wine”.
Jeff Leve: What were conditions like for you during the 2011 Feytit Clinet growing season?
Jeremy Chasseuil “With 2011 Feytit Clinet, was a really strange growing season. We had very little rain and hot temperatures in April, May and June. This gave us small, concentrated berries. Fortunately, enough rain fell during the véraison. This was important for us. July and August were cool months which brought more rain. This was a good thing because the vines were suffering from hydric stress at that point”.
Jeff Leve: Did you do anything unique this year during the 2011 Feytit Clinet growing season in your Pomerol vineyards?
Jeremy Chasseuil “This year with 2011 Feytit Clinet, we conducted an early removal of the leaves to protect the grapes from the sun. We did this only on the morning side. In many cases, sunburn was due to sulfite protection for oidium. In the 2011 vintage, at Feytit Clinet, this year we only used very small quantities”.
Jeff Leve: When did you start picking at Feytit Clinet?
Jeremy Chasseuil “We started with our Merlot September 12 and finished September 26 with the Cabernet Franc”.
Jeff Leve: Did you harvest earlier than you would have liked at Feytit Clinet?
Jeremy Chasseuil “When you harvest too early, you generally have more fruit on the nose. But the tannins are not ripe. Sometimes you have a vegetal touch in the wine. That’s why we prefer waiting at Feytit Clinet for phenolic ripeness which creates velvety tannins and a round and full mouth feel”.
Jeff Leve: Did the blast of warmth at the end of September help with this?
Jeremy Chasseuil “The heat at the end of the growing season allowed us to wait and harvest each parcel when we wanted”.
Jeff Leve: How important was sorting for you in the 2011 Bordeaux vintage?
Jeremy Chasseuil “It was very important. That is why during green harvest we worked to eliminate sunburn. We also made a double selection before and after destemming with the help of 14 workers. During the harvest we eliminated unwanted berries by double sorting. By the time the grapes reached the end of the second table, only the ripest berries remained”.
Jeff Leve: What yields do you expect this year?
Jeremy Chasseuil “I think we will have about 43 hectoliters per hectare”.
Jeff Leve: What are you seeing at this point with your potential alcohol levels and pH numbers?
Jeremy Chasseuil “Alcohol levels range from 13.47 to 14.01. Our pH after vinification is about 3.60”.