FENIX 2010

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49% Cabernet Sauvignon; 41% Merlot; 10% Petit Verdot


What an intense year! It was extremely difficult to make predictions due to the constant fluctuations in weather conditions, with unrelenting winds prevailing almost throughout. Initially matters were quite advanced, with early bud burst, then cold weather in October and November delayed everything, and subsequently favourable conditions and the small size of the crop tended to move D-day forward again. Production cost was high from the start and expenses per ton skyrocketed because of the decline in yield.


The grapes were hand harvested in the early morning hours and hand sorted in the cellar to the fermentation tanks.

The mash on both the Cabernet and the Merlot was inoculated with mostly Anchor 372 yeast and one tank of Cabernet with Lallemand D21. The wine was pumped over the skin and punched down 4 times per day for the first part of the fermentation and after reaching 12°B only twice per day. The Cabernet and the Merlot received a full rack and return with aeration at 12°B. Total time spent on the skins did not exceed 15 days. Part of the press juice was added to the free run.The older vineyards did their malo-lactic fermentation in 40% new French oak barrels and 40% second and third fill barrels. The younger vineyard’s wines were only in older (mainly second fill) barrels for 12 months.We kept the individual blocks separate until prior to blending and bottling. When blending after 12 months in barrel, all barrels were tasted individually and marked for final destination. We make a couple of different blends and thus each wine has to keep its individuality. The Dombeya wines are smoother with a softer tannin structure and thus barrels are chosen that shows these characters. The blend is then further matured in only older barrels for another 6 months before a light fining and bottling.


All of the vineyards are on North facing slopes. The soils consist of rocky clay of 10 to 15 %, which give good water retention ability. Supplementary irrigation was used sparingly and on a needs basis during the growing season.