The 2009 Vintage | Côtes de Bourg
IX le Magnificent !
The 2009 vintage is comparable to its cousin, 2005. Favourable weather conditions, virtually on a par with ten years seasonal norms, promoted consistent veraison and impeccably healthy fruit at harvest time. The growing season was ideal. A cool winter with a long cold spell eradicated grapevine trunk diseases.
The Bud burst :
Vine bud burst was early and started on March 17 with the Merlot. April experienced a long rainy spell lasting approximately 12 days which promoted the emergence of the first leaves. The first tiny berries were very plentiful. We then began clearing around the base of the trunks and removing unnecessary buds and base-buds.
The Flowering :
Flowering began on May 25 with the Merlot, followed just two days later by the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon. Weather conditions in May, with temperatures ranging from 12.3°C to 22.2°C, allowed flowering to last just one week for the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc. Cabernet-Sauvignon finished flowering later, after approximately three weeks.
The Veraison :
Veraison kicked off around July 20 and ended on July 31. Judging from initial estimates, the crop would be very bountiful with enormous clusters. We began cluster thinning on July 23. Temperatures remained reasonable over the summer – ranging from 16.2°C to 27.1°C in August – and there were very few rainy days (just 10 days in total in July and August), which slightly slowed down ripening that had been around a week early.
The Harvest :
The six days of rain in September did not jeopardise the health of the fruit but did promote ripening. We harvested Merlot from the earliest-ripening vineyard on September 18, then on September 26-29-30 depending on ripeness in the later-ripening blocks. Cabernet Franc was picked on October 7 and Cabernet-Sauvignon on October 13. The must was very concentrated with potential alcohol levels of 13°C and a wonderful Folin-Ciocalteau index of > 87. The pips were ripe and the tannins in the skins showed very good extractability.
The Wines :
After cold carbonic maceration, the wines underwent alcoholic and malolactic fermentation effortlessly. Dense tannin structure on the palate conveying an impression of velvet. The voluptuousness of the tannins and vibrancy of the fruit are immediately striking and produce a great sensation of freshness.
This vintage of Fougas will be outstanding. The ripeness of its tannins makes it accessible and its freshness will allow it to travel through time for many years to come. The wines are extremely fruity, concentrated and very well-balanced.
This fact sheet 2009 in pdf
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