Réserve white – the winemaker’s challenge
Posted:4 October 2017

Starting with decisions regarding the quality of the grapes from different parts of the vineyard which can vary from year to year, the Réserve wines at Grand Mayne get the very best treatment. Selection is followed by a choice regarding oak barrels which can come from different countries and coopers, each of which will provide a different character to the wine. We buy from a number to ensure the right balance. Its also important to decide how many new barrels to use alongside those that we’ve used in earlier years. Regular tasting then determines just how long the wine should be left in barrel. The following is a brief summary of what’s changed each year recently in the making of Domaine du Grand Mayne Reserve white.

All the wines are fermented and aged in barrel.

In 2011 : Mathieu added a bit of Sémillon to the Sauvignon. There was also a little less new barrel (between 1/3 and ¼), and the wine was left for one year in barrel. The 2011 is lower in acidity as a result of the hot dry weather so this wine needs to be drunk over the next 12 months.

2012 was the year in which Mathieu really took over, and he selected some different barrels as he wanted less oak flavor and and more freshness. Sémillon and Sauvignon were both excellent.

in 2012 : with a beautiful balance. Ageing was during one year as with the 2011 and Mathieu believes this vintage can be aged for a long time.

In 2013 : Batches of grapes were picked before the hail that devastated the harvest in 2013 so quality was again good, but maybe not as complex as 2012. One year in barrel and a bit less acidity but good richness too.

In 2014 : The Semillon wasn’t as good as in 2012 and 2013, so this is more Sauvignon. We also left the wine in barrel for a few months less to improve balance and retain that all important freshness.

In 2015 : The Semillon was still not at the same level as in 2012, but the Sauvignon was fantastic with richness and complexity. We also introduced bigger barrels of 400 litres and new suppliers and left the wine in barrel for just 6 months. We also added the Sauvignon from a new part of the vineyard on limestone, into the blend.

Mathieu’s tasting notes

2011 : My first vintage and true to say a familiarization vintage for him so not the best example of this wine. It’s still quite good though with dry fruits, almond, dry Corinth grapefruit, and honeysuckle. And also a buttery character. A bit heavy but still fresh and well balanced. Click here to order.

2012 : Amazing ! Complex. Citrusey, dry fruit, candied fruits, flowers (honeysuckle), white fruit (dry pear) , mineral, rich, fresh, amazing balance. Nice acidity, long and saline vibrant. Click here to order.

2013 : Much the same in many ways to 2012 but a little bit lighter and less complex. Very nice balance though and a bit more sweetness at the end. Click here to order.

2014 : Different to previous vintages with more fresh citrus fruits but perhaps less complex at this point in its development. More on the fruity side which will please many. Rich round and well balanced. Click here to order.

2015 : Perhaps the best Reserve white so far. Citrus, white fruits, citrus skin, flowery and mineral. Outstanding balance, acidity, and richness. Long and fresh. Staying so long in the mouth. Click here to order.

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