Le Carillon de 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.

Terroir

Gravelous soils are mixed either with clay or with sand. The terroirs dedicated to le carillon de rouget are more sandy than the ones selected for château rouget. This, combined with the relative youth of the vines, compared to the ones of the grand vin, result in earlier ripening and give the wine its roundness and appealing character.

Grape Varieties

85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc

Planting Density

3 000 vines per acre / 7 500 vines per hectare

Average Age of Vines

20 years

Soil Management

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

Harvests

Grapes are harvested by hand, in small 20kg crates. Each plot is harvested individually in order to ensure optimal ripeness of the entire crop. Grapes are then sorted carefully.

Winemaking and Ageing

Grapes from different parcels are vinified separately in stainless steel tanks, then aged in oak barrels (second fill) for 18 months. This vintage was bottled on a fruit day according to the lunar calendar, to allow the wine to express itself fully. The wine is fined traditionally, using fresh egg white.

Tasting Notes

(Tasted in Septembre 2014)

Colour: Red ruby with violet reflections.

Nose: Seducing and fresh with expressive notes of cherries and blueberries.

Palate: Beautiful concentration of red and black fruits (cherries, plums) together with satiny and elegant tannins. Refreshing and long finish.

Ageing Potential: 10 – 15 years

Le Carillon de Rouget – 2011

Vintage

Vintage 2011 was a great challenge after legendary 2009 and 2010. Unable to compete in power with 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)

Very seducing wine with intense and fruit-driven nose.

Delicious with splendid red fruit flavours: vibrant cherries, juicy plums on the palate. Very well balanced acidity. Red fruits and silky tannins lingering through very elegant and fresh finish.

Ageing Potential: 10 years

Le Carillon de 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)
Le Carillon de Rouget has a distinct personality from Château Rouget. More forthcoming in its youth, it has an elegant and delicate tannic structure, that seduces the palate. It is silky, ample, with a pleasant freshness on the finish.
It is mouthwatering wine, that can be aged for the next ten years.

 

Le Carillon de 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 has a deep garnet color. The nose is very expressive with black fruit and liquorice. On the palate, the wine is opulent, with aromas of ripe black cherry, with spicey notes. The tannins are soft and velvety, typical for Pomerol.
This wine combines richness and concentration, reflecting the 2009 vintage. It is well-balanced with a nice fresh finish. To be enjoyed within the next ten years.