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Wine Diary

Telling Stories

September 19, 2011

A ´11 vintage makes you dream. Only recently, a 1811 Château Yquem was auctioned in London.

(On Tuesday 26th July 2011 a new Guinness World Record was set for the most valuable bottle of white wine ever sold. The bottle of 1811 Château d'Yquem was sold by London fine and rare wine specialists, The Antique Wine Company, to the wine connoisseur and private collector Mr Christian Vanneque, for his new restaurant in Bali, Indonesia, for a total of £75,000.
The quality of the 1811 is unparalleled and the vintage encapsulates all that Château d'Yquem epitomises)

As a winemaker, one can write the words “vintage of the century” only in quotation marks, and with a wry smile.
It is certain, however, that the 2011 berries are looking very, very good at the moment.
What makes a really great wine? For me it is a wine which can tell a good story. Good stories are most likely to come from old vines which have lived a little. They tell of hot sun, of rocky precipices, of minerals in the soil, of summer heat, storms and cold autumn nights, of stress through competition by other plants and the life in the soil and the visits of the winemaker. The longer the grapes remain on the vine, the more interesting the story becomes.

We are only at the beginning of the genesis of the 2011 vintage. So far, we have harvested roughly half of our Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir grapes. We need them to make a rosé with the necessary lightness and freshness for our Brut rosé with bottle fermentation, or as a still rosé. After the base wines for our sekt we are harvesting our younger vineyards, which are relieved by the early harvest: the remaining days of autumn can be used for stocking additional reserves, which will also improve the plant’s resistance against winter frosts.