September 3, 2008

Photo du Jour - Summer Grapes

Not quite ready yet. Maybe another couple of weeks? Pin It


HamishWM said...

I think these grapes are in trouble! If you took the pic in the last couple of days they are definitely in trouble. There is uneven ripeness, which can be caused by many things. The usual practice in the vineyard is a 'vendange verte' (Green harvest) which is basically a selection in mid/late August to clear out bunches that are not uniformly ripe. I know that some of the growers in Bordeaux have had problems this year and are being very selective with their grapes. We shall see over the next couple of weeks!

Loulou said...

I took the photo the same day as I took the header photo, with the ripe grapes. I think it was about a week ago.
Maybe the vendange will be later?

HamishWM said...

Yes I think the grapes on the Header look very healthy!!
It is bizarre that the ripening can be uneven. It is usually due to the weather at flowering, which effects the quality and size of the resulting grapes.....but I am certainly not a viticulturist! And I would not be popular to criticize the hard working vignerons around the Minervois area.

jane said...

Hi we live in the mountains, near St Pons de Thomieres, (not that far from you,) and we also have to visit Beziers for the odd day or two. my question is WHERE did you find an asian outlet? we have found a terrific one in Castre, but its not somewhere we are obliged to visit that often, so searching the net i found your Blog which mentions one in Beziers....please could you let us know where it is as we are curry heads, and I am vegetarian (tofu etc). we also have a Blog,(not as posh or up to date as yours) but if you would like to see where we are??

Loulou said...

No, you wouldn't be popular if you began criticizing them!
Has Eric at La Prade Mari started his harvest yet?

Hello. Yes, I would like to see your site. Can you send me the link?
The Asian Épicerie in Béziers is called Chez Lin. Type it into Google and you'll get the map.
They have a cold case with tofu and lots of great ingredients.

HamishWM said...

Eric at Domaine La Prade Mari will probably start picking his block of Viognier in 10 days time then his Syrah, then Grenache then finally his 90 year old Carignan vines! Eric always picks quite late at full ripeness! He likes big bold styles. I am trying to get him to retain the ripeness and full style but keep the alcohol levels a bit lower. A wine at 15 degress alcohol can be a proper hammock wine.

Scintilla said...

We have similar grapes in our garden in Positano. They are wine grapes but we eat them. The ones that had the uneven ripening were 'Uva Fragola' or 'strawberry' flavoured ones. They look similar.

Loulou said...

15%! Yikes!
Where does he think his is? California???

We have some in our garden that sound similar. They're small and sweet and different colors (or maybe they just aren't ripe yet!)

HamishWM said...

Yes 15% is a bit weighty! But as you know Eric's wines at Domaine La Prade Mari are stunning. The fruit and oak ageing are perfectly balanced so you don't actually notice the big alc. It is purely a stylistic (and marketing) thing that I want to adjust with Eric. Certainly the UK market are getting a bit more resistant to over alc wines. They have had enough of them from the Barossa and California. Again it is tricky to tell someone else(and French too) to change their style...but if he wants to make wines for the market he has to adapt .....a little.

Loulou said...

Every time I drive by his Domaine I think of stopping to pick up a few bottles, but never do.
Next time I have to!

cynthia in the French Alps said...

Hamish and LouLou, So where can I buy the Domaine La Prade Mari wines? I love and really miss the full-bodied heavy wines I enjoyed while living in California for 26 years. I'm in Chambery in the French Alps. Where are they and do they have a website listing retailers? Thanks so much, Cynthia

HamishWM said...

Hi Cynthia
I'll speak with Eric at Domaine La Prade Mari this am and find out the best course of action. Thanks for your interest.


Loulou said...

Looks like Hamish is already looking into it.