Jean François Julien, owner of Chateau La Fleur Morange recently updated me on how the harvest went this year. He began harvesting the Merlot September 24th and finished the Cabernet Franc on October 5th. Although the harvest was not simple due to the long maturity needed for the grapes he is pleased with the wine. Jean François reckons that the Grand Vin will be around 14.5º with a pH of 3.6 and the Second Wine, Mathilde, will be 13.5º with a pH of 3.6.
Jeff Leve at the Wine Cellar Insider has an interesting interview with Jean François about the 2011 harvest which is well worth reading: 2011 Bordeaux Harvest Dangerous La Fleur Morange St Emilion.
If you have not come across La Fleur Morange before it is a tiny 4 acre château situated in the little village of St Pey d’Armens in Saint Emilion. Overseen by the brilliant oenologist Claude Gros, La Fleur Morange turns out some exquisite wines. Robert Parker is a fan (awarding the 2005 vintage 96 points) – as is Jancis Robinson, naming La Fleur Morange her favourite wine after a blind tasting of 2005 St Emilions and Mathilde 2006 her “Wine of the Week”.
The soil in which the 100+ year old vines are grown in is the only complex mixture known to exist in Saint Emilion and is a combination of sand, clay and chalk over an iron oxide sub soil (crase de fer) which is 15.7 inches (40 cm) below the surface. This subsoil rests on top of limestone bedrock. Jean François is convinced that this unique soil contributes to the finesse of the tannins. Jean François’ wines certainly reflect their terroir – they have the smooth, lush flavours of blackberries, liquorice, violets and chocolate as well as a certain smoky iron and flint character.
The wines have rapidly been attracting global attention and are collecting awards as they do so (see my blog Chateau La Fleur Morange – a Decade of Fine Wine). La Fleur Morange 2006 won a Gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards which were announced at the London International Wine Fair. However La Fleur Morange is no stranger to the Decanter World Wine Awards – the 2007 and 2008 were awarded Bronze Medals.
The 2006 vintage has also been awarded the coveted Coup de Coeur in the The Hachette Guide to French Wine (Guide Hachette des Vins de France). There is only one Coup de Coeur awarded to each appellation. Mathilde de La Fleur Morange 2006 Won Bronze at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWS Competition.
If you are interested in Jean François’ wines you can purchase them at Interest In Wine where we have a vertical selection of vintages available plus profiles and Robert Parker’s tasting notes for each cuvée.