Share |

Avec Veronique Dausse

If it’s January, then the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux producers must be having a tasting in New York.  And if the UGC is having a tasting in New York, it must mean that the city is, or soon will be, covered in white.

Among the UGC members on the U.S. tour is Véronique Dausse, who has been managing director of the well-respected St. Estephe producer, Château Phélan Ségur, since 2010.  She took time out to talk about three favorite topics:

On the 2014 Vintage:

• “From day one, the Cabernet Sauvignon has been showing very well.  It has nice structure, but isn’t huge.”

• “All the lots were very homogenous this year, and often you don’t have that.” As a result, there should be less variation in quality across the estate’s three wines – a good sign for frugal buyers who buy the second labels.

• After the tour of America comes the next marketing step on Dausse’s calendar – preparation for the en primeur tastings of blends still in the barrel that determine critical reaction and thus pricing. “They are waiting for me at the château.  The malolactic finished early this year, so we will do final blending early.”

On renewing Bordeaux’ American market:

• “Negociants are trying to rebuild distribution in the United States, looking for ways to get into states that are out of the spotlight.”

• Phélan Ségur was hurt, as were many châteaux, when Chateau & Estate suddenly abandoned the Bordeaux market in 2009 and has had to rebuild.  “We are now trying to re-educate each level of distribution about our wines.”

• The reason that many Bordeaux winemakers are constantly on the road in America and Asian?  “The personal touch is absolutely necessary” in selling Bordeaux.

On winemaking at Phélan Ségur:

• “Every change, everything new is trying to preserve the high quality of Phélan Ségur and to take advantage of this unique property."

• That said, wine is being made so that it will be approachable earlier.  “You can now fully enjoy the 2006 and the 2008, which is early than [would have been possible] before.  At the same time, it has the ability to age.”

• By reducing vigor in the vineyards and maintaining a vigor index, fewer treatments and interventions are needed.

• Two smaller tanks sizes are being introduced, which also allows harvesting in smaller plots. Optic sorters allow only the best fruit to make it to the fermenters.

Au ‘voir.  Same time next year.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)