« The winemaker knows the value of each ancestral gesture. But nothing but inspiration guides him to the perfect blend. Nothing but his faith sometimes leads to miracles... » Fabien Vincent - Winemaker

Lamothe-Vincent WINERY ...

Vinification cellarA new winery was built in 2000. Maximum hygiene and minimum manipulation of the wines were the guidelines for its construction as well as the equipment of computer-controlled internal thermoregulation. For example, wines are run by gravity from alcoholic fermentation tanks into malolactic fermentation tanks; Racking in oak barrels is also carried out in this way.

Light on barrels

The winery has a total capacity of 11.400 hectolitres in stainless steel vats (8.900) and inert epoxy-covered concrete (2.500), 250 barrels and 550.000 bottles. Several different tank capacities are used – varying from 40 to 300 hectolitres – in order to respect the individual parcels and the kind of maturing (ageing on lees).           

HARVESTING...

Inside the cellarDeciding when to harvest is essential to keep the quality and character intact within each parcel. As well as using modern laboratory analysis (Glories analysis, sugars, acidity, pH, IPT, anthocyans, malic acid), tasting the grape itself is essential to judge perfect maturity before deciding on the precise moment for harvesting, and finally controlling the winemaking process. Harvesting for white grapes takes place at the coolest moment of the day (end of night and early morning) in order to prevent the grapes from oxidising.

RESPECT FOR THE GRAPES ...

Every effort is made to transport the grapes as quickly as possible (within one hour after picking for the whites to reduce the risk of oxidation) and as gently as possible.

MACERATION ...

Bottle cellar 1Freshly picked grapes are conveyed into vats for 2 to 8 days of maceration before fermentation, at 6-12° C, under a protective cover of inert gas. Such a step is essential in our quest for the true genuine, regional - not standardised- character. For whites, the juice is run off by gravity into wide, « debourbage » tanks situated below the maceration vat and in which any impurities are encouraged to settle, while grapes are conveyed into pneumatic press. An entire pumping process is therefore avoided.

FERMENTATION ...

Bottle cellar 2Maintaining the individual character of each parcel is of prime importance to the final blending, and parcels of similar maturity are therefore vinified separately according to the varietal. We have decided at this early stage which wines will be matured in barrel or stainless steel, as we already have an approximate idea as to which cuvées are destined for the final blends. Controlling the fermentation temperature is an important part in respecting the differences in each cuvée. Cold fermentation temperatures at around 18°C are favoured for the whites in order to express the best balance between aromatic potential and texture, and keep freshness. For the reds, temperatures depend very much on the specific wine : For varietal expression, fermentations will take place at around 24°C. This can go up to 32°C if greater structure is required. Extraction is made by "délestages" (rackings by gravity) which best respect the fruit and soft tannins. Microoxygenation is used at the early stage to develop the texture and stabilize the colour. Reds undergo the transformation of malic acid into lactic acid to develop roundness and complexity, while whites stay as they are to retain freshness. Then, ageing on lees with stirring once a week lasts 2 to 10 months, with a view to enhancing ripe and soft flavours and increasing length on the finish.

OAK BARRELS ...

Barrels on oxoline systemA variety of barrels are used at Château Lamothe-Vincent, mainly for the Heritage wines which take our philosophy one step further. Indeed, specific wines require a different approach to oak. The slow oxidisation in oak barrels gives the wine a well-rounded, rich finish while still maintaining subtle presence of the fruit. The type of oak influences the final wine, as does the volume of the barrel and the amount of time a wine spends in it. Oak ageing is performed carefully so as not to camouflage the natural character of each of the wines. So, we experiment with barrel origin, barrel maker, toasting intensity, age of the barrel, time spent in barrel, temperature, intensity and time of oxidisation, malolactic fermentation in barrel (red wines), day of racking, maturing on less and so on, to bring out the best of each wine. In some cases, a combination of stainless steel and oak may be used to achieve the ideal balance between complexity and freshness.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ...

Depollution systemWinemaking should never be detrimental to the environment…As a result of this philosophy, Château Lamothe-Vincent has adopted a progressive « back to nature » approach. Examples of this include the decision to replace chemical fertilisers by organic manures, systematic chemical treatments by rational control methods or to collect and depollute cleaning waters and cellar liquid emanations, thereby protecting the water system.

 

 


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Château LAMOTHE-VINCENT  ¨ 3 chemin laurenceau ¨ 33760 Montignac ¨ France ¨ Tél: 33 556 239 655 ¨ Fax: 33 556 239 772

 E-mail: info@lamothe-vincent.com ¨ Web: www.lamothe-vincent.com