Croix des Vérillats, Moulin-à-Vent – 2016
Les Vérillats is one of the earliest delineated terroirs of Moulin-à-Vent. Located above the windmill, on the top of the appellation, it has an eastern exposure with a panoramic view. The granite soil is exceptionally sandy — atypical for a great terroir of this appellation— 60 cm deep and well-drained. It is layered over a bedrock of pink granite that is rich in iron oxide, copper and manganese. The vineyard lies in the corridor of drying winds that exert a positive effect on the maturation and concentration of the grapes.
‘Les Vérillats’ stand at the very top of an old granitic mount at 280 meters high (918 feet). The top soils there are very thin (approx. 60cm) and hence sometime trellis stakes cannot always be fully anchored. There are specific granitic soils (gorrhe), laying over deeper soils rich in manganese and metallic oxides. The powerful winds blowing on the appellation have a decisive impact on the sanitary state of the vineyards, the maturation and the berries concentration.
- Viticulture: Lutte raisonnée (“reasoned protection”): natural soil amendments, manual weed control and integrated pest management; thanks to the exceptionally clement weather, only five biological treatments of the vines were used this year.
- Size: 4.8 hectares (11.86 acres)
- Vine Age: 65-year old, small, compact vines
- Soil: Thin granitic soil with underlayer of clay
- Density: 10,000 vines/hectare
2016 is a good vintage. The wines are elegant and very balanced, representative of their terroirs.
- Harvest Date(s): Manual harvest from September 20–26, in small 30-liter containers; one sorting table positioned before the destemmer
- Yields: 30 hectoliters per hectare (Normal yields in the region are 45 - 50 hl/ha, while the maximum authorized is 52 hl/ha.) (2.22 tons per acre)
25% full cluster; pumping-over during cold prefermentation soak and at the end of fermentation to increase roundness and finesse. Punching the cap at the beginning of fermentation; 21 days extraction to bring out the full potential of the terroirs.
- Aging: 12 months, 100% in oak barrels, 4% new wood, medium toast; oak chosen from the Allier and Vosges forests; excellent sourcing of oak from the top coopers Taransaud and François Frères to bring out the wine’s signature aromas and tannins. The origin, grain and toast intensity are chosen according to the characteristics of the vintage. Then 6 months in stainless steel.
- Varietal Composition: 100% Gamay Noir
- Alcohol: 13%
- Optimum Drinking: 7+ years, with gradual development over the years. Younger wines should be poured into a carafe one hour before serving.
Les Vérillats has a deep red color with an intense nose of black fruit, unusual for the appellation. The mouth is full and supple, with a delicious smoothness balanced by the freshness of the fruit and spices.