At Domaine Font de Michelle and La Font du Vent we mature our wines for long periods of time.
Châteauneuf du Pape is matured in wood, traditionally oak barrels (foudres) of 80 and 25 hectoliters (1 hl = 100 liters). Over the past several years we have also developed maturation in smaller oak casks.
In 2007 we experimented maturing all of the Châteauneuf du Pape harvest by keeping the different grape varieties separate: Syrah wine in casks used only once, Mourvèdre in casks used only twice and Grenache and mixed plants in large “foudre” barrels and vats.
After 12 months of maturation in the casks and barrels it was time to taste all the wines and to assemble them.
This tasting gave rise to the “traditional cuvee” and the “Etienne Gonnet cuvee”. A “rest” period of 6 months in vats followed before bottling the wine.
As concerns the Côtes du Rhône wines, the “Les Promesses” cuvee is matured for 12 months in vats to keep the fruitiness of the wine. The Côtes du Rhône Villages Signargues “Notre Passion” is matured in oak “foudre” barrels; the “Confidentia” cuvee, composed for the most part of Syrah grapes, is matured in 1 – 2 use casks only.
All along the maturation process enological controls are practiced as well as regular topping-up and racking.