Médoc winegrowers want to get a taste of four new grape varieties, from the South and the past

Thursday February 11 2021 by Vitisphere

 According to Alix Combes (left), Arinornoa is very tannic and Marselan is particularly easy to manage, whilst Touriga Nacional has the advantage of displaying low alcohol content. Lack of ripeness can imply worthwhile potential for adaptation. According to Alix Combes (left), Arinornoa is very tannic and Marselan is particularly easy to manage, whilst Touriga Nacional has the advantage of displaying low alcohol content. Lack of ripeness can imply worthwhile potential for adaptation. - Photo credit : Alexandre Abellan (Vitisphere)

Climate change and demand for less alcoholic wines have prompted a question – which grape varieties will be the new Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot in the vineyards of the Médoc? “It’s obvious that the climate is changing. Should grape varieties evolve too? We can't say what the future holds”, said a cautious Sébastien Couthures, a winegrower and chair of the technical committee with the AOC Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Listrac-Médoc producers’ organisation.

The organisation is hosting 10 tasting sessions of new grape varieties with 108 winegrowers. It is not providing its members with answers, but rather offering them a toolkit for adaptations in the vineyard. In December 2020, the organisation approved an application for four ‘varieties of interest for adaptation purposes’ to be included in production specifications. The varieties, which are authorised on an experimental basis in AOC Bordeaux, are Arinarnoa (a cross between Tannat and Cabernet-Sauvignon), Marselan (a cross between Grenache and Cabernet-Sauvignon), Castet (a ‘forgotten’ Bordeaux grape variety) and Touriga Nacional (a Portuguese variety).

The proposal has to be examined by the National Institute of Origin and Quality (INAO). By presenting the first samples of these new varietal wines at the Pauillac wine centre, the producers’ organisation hopes to demonstrate their potential and encourage its members to trial them. 1855-classifed Grand Cru Château La Tour Carnet, whose 190 hectares of vines belong to the Bernard Magrez group, is ahead of the curve and began planting non-native Médoc grape varieties in 2014.

With a collection of 77 grape varieties – including Gamay, Nero d’Avola, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Tempranillo, Alix Combes, who manages the largest classified growth on the Left Bank quips, “I must be the only director of a Médoc chateau who does not know which grape varieties he has planted!” Having got a head start, Château La Tour Carnet was able to supply Arinornoa, Marselan and Touriga Nacional wines for the tastings.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Copy the code :
Processing
© Vitisphere 2021 - Tout droit réservé