amarchinthevines

Learning about wine, vines and vignerons whilst living in the Languedoc


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Castets II – return of the Rugbymen

In a previous post on October 1st (Fin de Vendanges a Mas Coutelou, One Day Like This) I described the hugely enjoyable day spent harvesting Grenache Noir grapes in the company of the Rugbymen of Béziers. Well, the grapes were placed in tank and left to ferment using carbonic maceration. After 3 weeks it was time to press the grapes and the Rugbymen were back.

The grapes in tank, the cage and press

The grapes in tank, the cage and press stand ready

Jeff kickstarts the pressing, with very clean boots!

Jeff kickstarts the pressing, with very clean boots!

The grapes tasted wonderful, full of fruit but with added layers of strength and alcoholic sweetness from fermenting within their skins. Then it was time for the Rugbymen to show the results of all that training.

Loading the grapes into the cage

Loading the grapes into the cage

The juice ran freely even as the cage was being loaded and then the press began its work.

First juice runs freely even before the pressing

First juice runs freely even before the pressing

Look at that stunning colour!

Look at that stunning colour!

The wine was put into bidons (bonbonnes) of glass wrapped in straw for safe keeping and to avoid light damaging the wine. Each bonbonne was carefully marked to ensure that it will be possible to taste the different stages of the wine pressing, from the first freely flowing juice to the last of the pressed wine. It was interesting to taste the wine as it appeared through these stages, there were distinct differences. Various Rugbymen, Jeff and myself all had their own,differing preferences. It will be fascinating to monitor their evolution.

Transferring wine into the bidons

Transferring wine into the bonbonnes

Once again thanks to the Rugbymen, they really are good fun, warm hearted and top men!

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Preparing the grapes for a final pressing, called a rebeche

It was also a good opportunity to taste the wine from Castets, the rare variety which is grown by Jeff as one of only two producers in the world.

WOW! This is already something special. Fruit, light at first just grows in flavour and depth as it coats the mouth and lingers there for a long time. It is amazing and with time in tank and then in bottle (magnums are the likely future) this is a wine I really want to drink when it is mature.