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.
Gravelous soils mixed with clay. This soil composition, combined with an exceptional exposure, confers all the typicity, elegance and finesse to Château Rouget wines.
85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc
Planting density: 3 000 vines per acre / 7 500 vines per hectare
Average age of vines: 40 years
Vineyards are farmed sustainably, using practices such as cover crops and ploughing.
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.
Each parcel is vinified separately, 40% of grapes are fermented in barrels and 60% oak vats, then the wine us aged for 18 months in oak barrels (33% new). The wine is fined traditionally, using fresh egg white.
(Tasted in September 2014)
Appearance: 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.