Jeff Leve 2013 Malartic Lagraviere was more than a difficult vintage that required severe selection. What percentage of the crop will you place in the Grand Vin?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “We will probably end placing around 35 to 40% of the harvest in the first wine.”
Jeff Leve What type of yields did that represent?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “That comes out to 26 hectoliters per hectare for the red wine and 29 hectoliters per hectare for our white Bordeaux wine.”
Jeff Leve Is the 2013 Bordeaux harvest, the latest vintage for you?
Jeff Leve That is how the vintage ended. How did things start off beginning with the flowering?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “It was under water for the Merlot. But we enjoyed a nice sun shining window for the Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Jean Jacques Bonnie “It was with all the varieties. But with the Merlot, it was worse.”
Jeff Leve Was the 2013 Bordeaux one of the wettest years you recall?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “Not if you consider the entire growing season. But yes definitely during the vegetative period which was from April to October.”
Jeff Leve Did you suffer much damage from the late July storm?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “Fortunately no! We were lucky at Malartic Lagraviere.”
Jeff Leve Did you think you had turned the corner with the Indian summer conditions in August?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “We had hope! It was still early to jump to conclusions, but at that time we were already anticipating all the green works in the vineyard.”
Jeff Leve What did your green work consist of for the 2013 Malartic Lagraviere vintage?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “We had to take care of the leaves, cut the bunches and, or the wings to ensure that no grapes would the others, giving them room to breathe.”
Jeff Leve How sever was your sorting with the 2013 Malartic Lagraviere harvest?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “The first sorting we do is at the “mi-véraison” to homogenize the crop. At that point, all the bunches that are later in change of color than the average of the plot are put down. For the white wine grapes, we work by “tries successives”. Then at the harvest the cutters select the bunch they pick up. The chai then applies a double sorting by hand on bunches and on berries, while in the middle of this process, 2 vibrating tables separate the baies millerandées.”
Jeff Leve Did using organic techniques help with 2013?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “We farm part of the Malartic Lagraviere vineyard in organic and biodynamic farming techniques. It didn’t help specifically for 2013. But it helps in general as it develops our know how in facing difficult situations preserving the environment.”
Jeff Leve When did you begin harvesting?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “We began picking Sauvignon Blanc September 26 and started on the young vine Merlot two days later, September 28.”
Jeff Leve When did you complete your harvest?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “With the white wine grapes, we were done picking October 4. For the red wine grapes, we did not finish until October 22.”
Jeff Leve Did your harvest finish quicker than you anticipated?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “We were able to organize ourselves to enter the crop very fast. This helped us to be able to wait the last minute. This is what we do every year. But with the 2013 Bordeaux vintage, it was very useful, especially with the Merlot.”
Jeff Leve Is this going to be a Cabernet Sauvignon vintage?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “At Malartic Lagraviere, I would say yes. We have nice Merlot, but excellent Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Jeff Leve Did you chaptalize?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “Yes, we did some slight chaptalization with the Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Jeff Leve What is the character and style of your Cabernet Sauvignon?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “They are dense, profound and complex with a very elegant tannic structure.”
Jeff Leve With this vintage, what will you do during the aging period for the wine?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “In terms of elevage, we’ll see about the duration of it. However, we will not use too much new oak so we can enhance the fruit.”
Jeff Leve What are your alcohol and pH levels?
Jean Jacques Bonnie “With the Cabernet Sauvignon, we are between 12.5% to 13%. The Merlot is between 13% to 13.5%. The pH is about 3.6. For the white wine grapes, the Sauvignon Blanc is between 12.5 to 13% and the Semillon is between 13.5 to 14% with a pH of 3.15.