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When Benjamin Sichel took charge of wine-making operations at Château Angludet in 1989, he set himself the task of optimising the vines' natural balance. In Benjamin's view, the vines ought to be allowed to regulate themselves naturally, without any assistance. The role of the groweris to provide the means to foster this balance.
Consequently, in winter, severe pruning limits the potential production of each vine to eight bunches per plant, to produce 45 hectolitres per hectare.
A leaf surface area of 1.2m² per grapevine fosters ripening, and grass cover is used when necessary to curb excessive vigour. Plant cover may be used to fertilise and promote microbial activity in the earth and raise soil quality. In addition to these techniques, manual leaf thinning helps aerate the bunches, while green harvesting is the ultimate means of regulating grapevine yield and ensuring uniform veraison.
This skilful blend of integrated, organic and alternative management practices protects the environment and preserves the terroir for future generations.
Fermentation takes place in concrete vats which offer the advantage of excellent thermal inertia during the maceration phase.
Fermentation and extraction of the grape skin components are adjusted according to the potential of the vintage to help preserve its typical characteristics.
The wine is then aged in barrels for 12 months. Every year, 30-35% of new oak barrels are introduced, sourced from a number of cooperages carefully selected to ensure complementarity; these barrels play a role in the ageing and complexity of the wine.
The wine is lightly fined with egg white before bottling.
However, at Château Angludet more than anywhere else, we know that there is no single, lasting recipe: every year, we question current practices to be able to act in response to the meteorological conditions and the state of the vines.