The 2017 vintage continues its maturation in barrels in the historic chai des Marronniers barrel cellar. One year after the final blending, the wine slowly refines in the darkness of the cellar, and in the precision hands of our technicians.
During the final months of maturation, the wine requires, among other things, two important procedures: le collage, or fining, and la levée de colle, or post-fining racking.
Fining a wine simply entails adding egg white to it. Naturally binding with the fine suspended particles remaining, it gathers them into a heavier mass which will settle to the bottom of the barrel over time. The final, post-fining racking, or levée de colle, will allow us to separate the wine, which will have become clearer and more brilliant, from the lees or the deposit left at the bottom of the barrel.
As at every stage, our taste buds will be our guides. To be able to determine the right level of fining needed by the wine, we carry out tests beforehand, using between 0 and 5 egg whites per barrel. Afterwards, we taste again and retain the level of fining that we’ve determined will sublimate the wine.
Today, the cellar is entirely focused on this final racking operation, the last step before the wine is bottled this summer. To delicately separate the clear wine from its lees, we use the ancestral method of levée de colle à la bougie – by candlelight. The wine flows out of the barrel, illuminated by the glowing flame, and as soon as the slightest haze begins to disturb the radiance highlighted by the candle, we stop. The wine is then clear, with a beautiful, lustrous sheen.