By Marc Vanhellemenont, In Vino Véritas Belgium August/September 2010
What’s new in Cahors, Pascal Verhaeghe ?
IVV : The Château du Cèdre has asked for organic certification, that’s new…
Pascal Verhaeghe : It is the culmination of a reflexion we started in the early nineties. In 1992, we have started banning all herbicides from our vineyards and managed to keep off from all chemical spraying agents within the following ten years. The remarkable increase of quality of our grapes has encouraged us to ask for organic certification. In fact, it has been incredibly beneficial to give up chemical treatments.
Any changes in the cellar ?
Yes indeed. Since 2004 wine making has changed a lot. We do less work to extract, no more than three or four pigeages, and temperature of fermentation does not exceed 28°C.
What about the ageing ?
We have chosen various oak vats to age our wines and lengthened our ageing periods. Our barrel stock is now made of some 40% of 500 litre barrels, 40% of 225 litre barrels and 20% of large oak vats. That sounds complicated, but due to an accurate management the wines really get better.
What’s the result ?
The typical characters of the wines are much more appreciated. They have gained in complexity and length, present better acidities and tannins are more elegantly structured due to the extension of the ageing periods. Finally, they are much more “drinkable”, with an increased enjoyment while tasting them.
Which duration for ageing ?
At least 20 months for the “Château” wine and up to 30 months for the GC. That’s long, but we aim for balance and elegance, and that’s what we finally find in the bottle.
Thank you Pascal !
Special thanks to Marc Vanhellemont, who gave permit to publish his article on our website. Marc Vanhellemont is a Belgian journalist, who writes for different wine magazines in Belgium and France. You may read more on In Vino Veritas and the wine blog Les 5 du Vin.