a few days before harvest, we would like to share some thoughts about the vintage 2014, a crucial year in our wine production. During the last harvest, we fermented several tanks and even some barrels of the Cuvée GC without addition of sulphur. Approximately 70% of our grapes were transformed into wine by natural yeasts through this vinification “without safety net”. Today, almost twelve months later, the reaction of the wines is still surprising: The expressiveness of the fruit is amazing, the grapes dominate everything.
Added sulphur acts like an antibiotic, standardizing the wines. We started our experiments with sulphur-free wine making already in 2004. It’s above all a learning process, not only in the cellar, but also in the vineyard, as only healthy and balanced grapes, here from organic farming, allow making choices.
Breaking free from sulphur under appropriate precautions opens new perspectives of wine quality. One discovers an unsuspected range of aromas (sulphur covers the flavours), tannins of great delicacy and a large ageing potential, because everything has been done to give the wines a natural resistance to oxidation. In addition, the wines seem to be much more digestible.
The balance of the first decade of sulphur-free winemaking is very positive and encouraging. The vintage 2014 even gave us the possibility to produce a first, new sulphur-free wine. A Cahors “Extra Libre” (Extra free) that will be available from October. A truly charming, elegant and soft wine, made from the same vineyards as the “classic” Château du Cèdre. A wine that encourages us to continue on the path we choose over the next few years, towards ever-lower sulphur addition in all our wines.
We wish you a pleasant autumn,
Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe