Château Rouget – 2013

Vintage 2013

And what if this year, often disparaged, was finally preparing for us beautiful surprises by making Rouget 2013 exceptional?

Admittedly, Nature played us like a fiddle and complicated the task even more. During vegetative cycle, we fought against the elements, the diseases and vine’s whims. At Rouget we rarely spent as much time to rebuild and restore what was demolished by rains, storms or winds. Never had we walked that much in vineyards, because the soils were too soft to enter with tractor. Our viticultural practices that combine biological and biodynamical principles and, most crucial in 2013, simple farmer’s wisdom, contributed much to produce interesting grapes with great potential. We had to read the sky, to understand the reactions of the vine and to anticipate and suppress any disease at its very beginning.

Exhausted but happy about our work between April and September, we started harvesting our young Merlot in early October. Not a single time the health of vineyards has determined our agenda. We reasonably expect the optimal maturity that this vintage may offer. Certainly, the structure of the berries is not at the level of famed 2009 or 2010, but we were far from the foretold disaster.

The core of our vinification approach was pragmatism and permanent monitoring. Short cuvaisons, slow fermentations with indigenous yeasts and soft extractions not to brutalise this fragile vintage.

Terroir

Soils are gravelous,  either mixed with clay or with sand. This soil composition, combined with an exceptional exposure, confers all the typicity, elegance and finesse to Château Rouget wines.

Grape Varieties

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc

Planting Desnity

3 000 vines per acre / 7 500 vines per hectare

Average Age of Vines

40 years

Soil Management

Vineyards are farmed sustainably, using practices such as cover crops and ploughing.

Harvests

Grapes are manually picked and carefully transported in small 20 kg crates. Harvest occurs in several steps, in order to secure an optimal maturity level. Bunches are sorted a first time as soon as they arrive in the cellar. Then, once the grapes are fully destemmed, they go through another double sorting table.

Winemaking and Ageing

Grapes are vinified batch by batch, in oak or stainless steel vats, then aged for 18 months in oak barrels (33% new). The wine is fined traditionally, using fresh egg white. This vintage was bottled on a fruit day according to the lunar calendar, to allow the wine to express itself fully.

Tasting Notes

(Tasted in September 2015)

Appearance: Intense ruby red colour with purple reflections.

Nose: Elegant black fruit notes with exquisite and spicy and truffle touch.

Palate: Beautifully delicate, with subtle flavours of black fruit and plums that embrace the palate while keeping pleasant freshness on the finish.

Ageing Potential: more than 20 years. We recommend to wait for 10 to 12 years for this wine to express itself.

 

 

 

Château Rouget – 2012

Vintage 2012

Vintage of Contrasts

Thanks to the quality of our terroirs on “Plateau de Pomerol” we have produced absolutely amazing, aromatic, complex and rich tannic Merlot. Crop was among the lowest we have seen over the last decade. At only thirty two hectolitres per hectare (thirteen hectolitres per acre), 2012 Rouget will be rare but valuable.

However, this vintage was full of challenges. The vine vegetative cycle has begun during a complicated period when weather alternated considerably upwards or downwards, from rains to excessive warm temperatures. It was therefore necessary to fight against diseases such as powdery and downy mildew at their earliest stages in the beginning of the season. Hot and dry summer that followed, has concentrated and accelerated the alcoholic maturity and slowed down phenolic maturity. Once again, September has played a determining role. Light rains in early September followed by excellent weather until October 10th gave way to tight grape skins and perfect acidity / maturity balance, and as consequence we harvested delicious and healthy berries.

With 14 degrees of alcohol, the 2012 vintage is at the top end of what we normally produce. But with silky tannins and good acidity that makes the wine crisp and digestible, this vintage is without doubt a great harmony. We continue to reduce the proportion of new oak by taking only slightly toasted barrels in order to fully express the fruit of our grapes.

Grape Varieties

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc

Planting Density

3 000 vines per acre / 7 500 vines per hectare

Average Age of Vines

40 years

Winemaking and Ageing

Grapes are vinified batch by batch, in oak or stainless steel vats, then aged for 18 months in oak barrels (33% new). The wine is fined traditionally, using fresh egg white. This vintage was bottled on a fruit day according to the lunar calendar, to allow the wine to express itself fully.

Tasting Notes

(Tasted in September 2014)

Colour: Deep ruby colour with purple reflections

Nose: Expressive black and red fruit bouquet with elegant vanilla and spicy notes.

Palate: Opulent and structured with notes of plums, blackcurrant, mulberry and chocolate. Long savoury finish embraced with ripe and silky tannins featuring spices and roasted notes.

Ageing Potential: 15-20 years. It can be enjoyed from 2015 but we recommend to keep it in the cellar 3 or 5 additional years if you want to discover all of its aromatic palette.

Château Rouget – 2011

Vintage

Vintage 2011 was a great challenge after legendary 2009 and 2010. Unable to compete in power with his its predecessors this vintage successfully found its own unique way to subjugate wine enthusiasts. Spring was promptly very hot and dry. With temperatures reaching 30℃ during some days in April, flowering was exceptional. Constant water deficit during growth cycle forced us to rethink our viticultural practices by controlling canopy management and enabling soils to breathe. It was important to keep freshness in the vineyard to reach perfectly balanced alcoholic and phenolic maturity. Merlot, the dominant variety in Pomerol appellation, had the most to lose in this “game”. Yet, once again, Plateau’s terroir played its important role of regulator. Wines’ smoothness and delicacy surprised the greatest tasters of Pomerol. Even young, this wine delivers an extremely delicate and frank mouth feel.

Tasting Notes

(Tasted in September 2013)

Intense purple colour with garnet reflections. Bright and spicy nose, savoury blackcurrant, blackberry, plum and menthol. Ample on the palate with rich flavours of plum together with dark berries and vanilla notes. Harmonious and generous. Slightly mineral and toasted notes embraced with lacy, yet structured and opulent tannins. Persistent and complex finish with a broad mouth feel, revealing notes of cardamom and spices, with a touch of chocolate.

Ageing potential: 15-20 years

Château Rouget – 2010

Vintage

2010 is an outstanding vintage for Château Rouget, comparable to the memorable 1961 and 1947. The ripening process was very regular, with optimal acidity and pH. The terroir have managed to free themselves from the weather conditions to deliver fruit quality that was beyond all expectations. The harvest date was difficult to predict as the phenolic ripeness was dissociated from the alcoholic ripeness. We chose to preserve balance and fruitiness to be even more elegant than 2009 and 2005. At the end, the harvest occured in two steps, starting on September 28th for the earliest plots, and carried on after October 10th for the rest. By October 15th, the whole harvest was inside before the change in the weather conditions.

Tasting Notes

(Tasted in September 2012)
With is nice garnet color, Château ROUGET exhibit a nose that is open and elegant altogether. This elegance is confirmed on the palate. The wine has a great body and refined tannins, with a long lingering after taste. A beautiful expression of a grand Pomerol, combining concentration and silky tannins!
That wine has a great ageing potential: you will start enjoying it in the next 5-7 years, but it will give you pleasure for the next 15-20 years.
The silky touch of merlot combines perfectly with the minerality of the cabernet franc. The wines are blended early into the ageing process and find in this vintage the perfect balance between ripeness and freshness.

Château Rouget – 2009

Vintage

2009 was an exceptional vintage, with perfect conditions. The summer saw plenty of sunshine, neither too hot as in 2003, neither too rare as in 2007. The spring was humid, but not excessively, allowing the vines to build up sufficient water reserves for the whole growing season. At not time where the conditions excessive or detrimental to the quality of the vintage. The flowering was very consistent , in one weekend everything was blooming, which was the sign of a great vintage. Water-stress only came very late in the season, and the ripening was very homogenous across the estate.

The wines are very intense, of great complexity and with long ageing potential.

Tasting Notes

(Tasted in September 2012)

The wine displays a rich, dark garnet color. The nose is mouth-watering, with notes of kirsh and blueberries, lifted by a great minerality. The wine is dense on the palate, concentrated, generous with touches of vanilla and a well integrated wood. The tannins are ripe and silky. This wine combines body and elegance, you will enjoy it in 7-10 years or for the 15 years beyond.