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Vignobles Péré-Vergé, 2016 Update

Although I have visited Château Le Gay several times, it always seems to be a very rushed affair, dashing in for a quick slurp of the latest barrel samples, then dashing out again, just one of many stop-offs on a once-yearly whirlwind tour of the Pomerol appellation. I do enjoy the opportunity to linger a little longer, to try and get under the skin of a domaine though, and very recently I was able to do just that here at Château Le Gay. I visited in order to taste the 2013 vintage, recently bottled, but I was glad of the opportunity to taste some other wines, to linger a while in the cellars which have now been given over entirely facilitating the process of vinification integrale, and to meet winemaker for all the Péré-Vergé estates Marcelo Pelleriti (pictured below).

Vignobles Péré-Vergé

I first learnt of vinification intégrale a couple of years ago, when visiting Château Faugères. The process is simple to explain, but perhaps not so simple to commit to. In vinification integrale the entire winemaking process is undertaken in the barrel; so once the fruit has been sorted and destemmed, the berries are deposited into an adapted barrel (they often have some form of access at one end, a plate, tap or valve – if not the entire barrel-end can be removed) where the fermentation takes place. Once the fermentation and maceration is complete, the latter assisted by bâtonnage four times each day to move the solids around in the case of Château Le Gay, the barrel is then emptied (using that end-barrel access), the fruit pressed, and the new wine returned to the barrel for the élevage.

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