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2017 – Frost and fruit (or not)

Posted by on 22 Jun 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

2017  in the vineyard – highs and lows

The morning of the 18th April was when the big frost hit the Languedoc. Not all vineyards were affected – it depended on topography but unfortunately our vineyards were badly hit. Within a couple of hours our vines had gone from looking lovely and green and healthy to this. Approximately 80% of Syrah vines were frosted. 60% of the Carignan.

Carignan before the frost

Carignan after the frost

Pretty depressing, I can tell you.

But nature is amazing. Within a month, the secondary buds had started to burst and now the vineyards are green and healthy with lots of leaves. The only problem is that often these secondary buds are not fruitful. In the Carignan, the bottom half of the vineyard, which was completely frosted, has no grapes. Lots of leaves but literally NO grapes. The top section of  the Carignan is, mercifully, a different story. There was much less damage and there are some promising bunches of grapes forming.

Carignan grapes – June

Syrah – grapes from primary and secondary buds on the same vine

The Syrah presents more of a challenge. More of the secondary buds are fruitful but they are approximately 5 weeks behind the fruit formed on the primary buds. And often on the same vine! The photo below illustrates this very clearly. The secondary fruit is only just flowering. This means that the harvest will have to be staggered as the grapes will have be ripe at different times. Selection will be key.

One thing is sure. 2017 will be a very small vintage.

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Compost

Posted by on 24 Mar 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Composting the vineyards

 

30 tonnes of organic compost was delivered at the beginning of this year. Working out how to distribute it onto the vineyards when we don’t own any equipment to do so took some working out, but we got there in the end.

So here is the organic compost, made of vegetable and plant matter.  It is well composted and smells wonderful – sort of mushroomy with  pine and forest floor.

We borrowed a tip up trailer that was narrow enough to fit between the vines in the Carignan vineyard and hired a bobcat to load it.

We composted every second row. Here is the trailer about to start to discharge its load in the Carignan vineyard.And here is the compost, evenly spread in the vineyard.

See ‘compost – the movie’ for more information on our facebook page!

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Wild flowers

Posted by on 10 Mar 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Spring in the vineyard

Spring is here and although the vines are not yet budding, there are plenty of flowers blooming amongst the vines. The most prevalent wild flower is the white ‘false rocket’ or diplotaxis erucoides. It can grow so thick that it looks more like snow in the vineyards and its peppery scent is pungent. At Domaine La Tasque, we leave the flowers to grow until the vines start to leaf before ploughing them back into the soil. They  provide compost and bulk for the soil and don’t compete with the vine for water and nutrients during budbreak and flowering.

Wild rocket in Carignan vineyard

Wild rocket in Carignan vineyard

Flowers in Syrah vineyard

Between the vines, Syrah

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Bottling

Posted by on 23 Feb 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Bottling 2015 vintage

We had a busy day on Tuesday, bottling our 2015 vintage. We made three wines in 2015, Domaine La Tasque  Carignan and a varietal Syrah. Also Tasque Grenache, which comes from a small vineyard of old vines which is owned by a friend of ours.

Carignan 2015 comes off the bottling line

 

packing Carignan into boxes

 

Putting the Carignan box into the scotch machine

 

6 bottles carton of Domaine La Tasque Carignan 2015

 

Syrah 2015 comes off the bottling line and into boxes

Smart red boxes of Tasque Grenache 2015

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90 points for Domaine La Tasque Carignan

Posted by on 27 Jan 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

We are very chuffed to have received some nice scores and comments from Andreas Larsson, the world’s best sommelier in 2007. He tasted our wines in December 2016, along with around 300 other IGP wines from the Langueodc. All wines were tasted blind and results posted on his  blindtasting website. 

He gave Domaine La Tasque Carignan 2014 a score of 90/100 and said

Dark ruby/purple colour. Youthful nose of dark fruit, some meaty notes and bay leaf. The palate is dense and weighty with a rounded texture, nice dark fruit, hints of cocoa bean and a long, warm finish, plenty of stuffing and potential.

The 2014 Domaine La Tasque Syrah was rated 89/100

Dense purple hue. Attractive nose of violet, garrigue, crushed dark fruit and some meaty notes. Rather full palate with floral dark fruit, bay leaf and sage notes, fine but present tannin, long, dense and spicy finish, nicely done.

 

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

 

 

 

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Carignan? Spot the difference

Posted by on 23 Nov 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Rogue vine in Carignan

Rogue vine in Carigan vineyard

The Carignan vineyard is mostly, well, Carignan. But there are a few rogue white grapevines in amongst them. These are easiest to spot in Autumn when the leaves change colour. This vine is, we think, Grenache Gris and we wish we had a few more of them as the grapes are delicious. There are also a few other white grape vines in the middle of the vineyard which are probably Carignan Blanc.

So what do we do with the grapes? We pick each berry individually, press them in a specially designed micro press and ferment and age the wine in a hand painted Bulgarian oak barrel for 13 months and 19 days.

Bulgarian barrel

Very rare white wine

This exclusive white wine, named ‘Les Dents de la Poule’ will be bottled early next year and released on 1.4.2017.

Price on application.

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