Blending Mirabeau 2016

Blog Winemaking

I have talked about the crucial importance of blending several times before and good blending makes the difference between an average and a good wine.  We take this task very seriously and spend a lot of time driving around selecting the best bins once the wines have fermented and working out how to put them together in a way that will give a fantastic taste profile and give the wine the correct amount of longevity.

It’s been another hot and very dry year in Provence and come the end of summer signs of heat stress had started to appear all over the local vineyards.  Coming on the heels of a similar year in 2015 this proved a worrying time for all of us in the business.  The previous year the grapes just ripened at breakneck speed at the end of August, leaving many vignerons to harvest in a panic before the alcohol levels got too high.  This vintage looked similar, but actually ended up being quite different.
A lot of vines appeared to slow down their development at the end of the summer and got going again once we had a few rains at the beginning of September. Harvest was almost a month after the previous year and a much more chilled and organised affair.  The fears about quality and intense colour had proved unfounded and the resulting wines were actually very nice to work with.

We chose from more than 100 pre-selected wines for our final blending session, where we still had more than 40 bottles on the groaning table to make the final blend for Mirabeau Pure, Classic and our new cuvée Etoile.  It’s always a nerve wrecking time to make a call on the ultimate blend and you cannot help but worry that you may have made a mistake.  We’re lucky to have such an accomplished oenologue to work with in Nathalie Longefay, and together we make a good team of tasters to ensure the wines are always excellent.  The self doubts mercifully went away after a few weeks, when we re-tasted the wines and concluded that they meet the high standard we set ourselves.

The Mirabeau 2016s have been bottled and sent on their merry way towards our customers all over the world and we very much hope you will enjoy them like you have done the previous years.  Soon we will know what the wine critics think and whether we’ve done well in the competitions this year, but your feedback is the most important to us.  So if you’ve already tasted the new vintage please let us know what you think, you can always contact us via the website or social media!

In any case we wish you plenty of sunny days with a glass of Rosé in your hand!

Jeany Cronk
The author: Jeany Cronk

Jeany Cronk, foremost wife and mother of three Cronklets, lends an ear to endless wine conundrums contemplated by her other-half and works on the Mirabeau look and feel. Her big passions are interior design, the French way of life and of course the inspirational flavours and food of Provence.

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