What was your biggest challenge in the vineyard?
The challenge is each year the same : we must harvest late enough to pick perfectly ripe fruits (the decision can be difficult in years with a lot of rain before the harvest. We fear that it will rot the fruit and so we might tend to harvest too early). In 2019 it was not the case . We had a very dry and sunny summer with two heat waves and this nice weather lasted until the end of the harvest. So this was an easy harvest without any stress.
17 hectares of vines in the clayey limestone soils of Listrac in the Haut Medoc (not far from the Margaux appellation). The Raymond family have been making red (and white) wines here since 1756. saransot-dupre.com
We started to pick the merlots, our main grape variety (59% of our vineyard) on saturday the 28th of september until the 3rd of october. We harvested the cabernets francs (15%)on the 1st or october and the petit verdots (18%) on the 4th and 5th of october and the small quantity of cabernet sauvignon we have (8%) on the afternoon of the 5th of october. (The cabernet sauvignon does not fit very well with the clay grounds of Saransot and we tend to have less and less)
What was your biggest challenge in the chai
Paul Pontalier the late director of château Margaux used to say “it is only when the grapes enter into the cellar that we are really able to see the quality of the grapes and this decides everything”. That is to say the margin to improve a grape and by consequence the wine made of this grape is very small. In 2019 our average yield was 41hl/ha which is very reasonable. But our cabernet-franc produced 49hl/ha. Such a yield would not have been a problem with the other grape varieties : merlot petit-verdot or cabernet-sauvignon but it is with cabernet franc. Over 45hl per hectare the cabernet franc lacks concentration . We did our best but once again Paul Pontalier was right. So in the final blending of Saransot Dupré there is only half of our crop of cabernet-franc that is to say 10% of the final blending. The other half was used for our second wine chateau Perac.
How would you describe your wine
Saransot Dupré 2019 has a dark ruby color sign of a good concentration but it has not the huge concentration of such vintages as 2016 or 2010 . It has very soft and very fruity tannins which is the sign of very ripe fruits. This is why I would say it has a Margaux style. We could compare vintage 2019 with vintage 2015.
Vintage 2018 has more freshness and is more in a Pauillac style. It is fruity but not so ripe fruits as 2019.
Like vintage 2015, Saransot Dupré 2019 with its ripe fruits will be ready to enjoy very soon but can also be kept for a long time in your cellar. This is very interesting for those consumers who do not know very well the characteristics of each vintage because they do not have to consider how many years to wait .