MATURING "UNDER HIGH SURVEILLANCE"
12 to 18 months of aging are essential; the exact time required will vary according to each cuvée’s specific characteristics. The process takes place primarily in year-old barrels, set on wooden blocks as tradition dictates, and kept at a constant temperature and humidity level.
Again, tasting is the best guideline and sets the “tempo”. The team monitors the development of the wine on a daily basis and decides on the best time for bottling, which takes place at the chateau.
Cooperage is subject to the highest standards. Château La Favière has forged bonds of trust with several “hand-picked” French coopers who share the same spirit of discernment. Every step of the process requires great attention to detail, from the choice of oak to drying and burning.
This wine can be kept for a dozen or so years. It is perfectly suited for immediate consumption, but aging will develop some of its rarer aromas and the full depth of its complexity.
THE VINES sweep unbroken across 18.5 hectares, well positioned on an outcrop of land. They comprise the three grapes that typify the local wines: Merlot (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). The oldest vines date back to 1958, on average they date from 1988. They are planted from east to west for maximum sunshine.
THE SOIL is a mix of sand and gravel with a layer of clay in the subsoil. The vines receive water all year, without excess in winter or drying out in summer.
THE CLIMATE is oceanic, with the exceptionally balanced Saint-Emilion microclimate.
VINE-GROWING follows sustainable viticulture methods, spraying as little as possible and adapting fertiliser to each plot. High density and painstaking pruning helps produce very high grape quality. The grapes are picked at the peak of maturity, and the first mechanical sorting is followed by a laser-based optical sorting, which examines the diameter, evenness, colour and weight of every grape.
15 PLOTS, identified by letter. Vinification is conducted plot by plot, to preserve their specific character and create a range of different notes for the final blend. The slow, measured fermentation is preceded by 72 hours' cold maceration.
THE INTEGRAL VINIFICATION method is rarely used for this appellation. Château La Favière has opted to use it in order to meet its requirement for high quality and character. Around 15%* of the grapes are vinified in small 500-litre oak casks that are rotated six times a day. This early contact with wood helps to extract colour and flavour, creating fuller wines, with more elegance and complexity. The remainder is processed in temperature-controlled vats, with frequent pumping, according to each individual cuvée.
MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION, in vats or new casks, develops the aromatic complexity and gives body to the wines.
The process is designed to create complex wines with rich, subtle harmonies.
BLENDING - THE KEY OF STYLE
THE BLEND is what gives La Favière wine its "theme tune", its harmony, which is amplified by ageing. Georges Pauli compares the different grapes to the sections of an orchestra, combining different instruments from a single family, represented by the different plots, which he uses to create the subtlest variations in the wine.
MERLOT (approx. 60%) is typical of Libourne, and dominates the blend. It is supple, elegant, full-bodied and well developed. Cabernet Franc (approx. 30%) adds finesse and brings out the aromas of red fruit. The flavourful Cabernet Sauvignon (approx. 10%) supports the structure, strength and tannins.
THE WINE IS TASTED collectively. The wine team is backed up by the owners and Christophe Bedouet, general manager of the estate. The wines from each plot are considered both for their own character and their ability to blend with the other elements of the final composition, which will evolve over the years. The challenge is to compile wines that are in unison in the present and to anticipate their future development. The "conductor" suggests compositions, and the final interpretation is decided collectively.
THE STYLE of Château La Favière wines is the combination of the virtuosity that promotes harmony and elegance alongside intensity. The attack is smooth, stylish, then the structure unfolds with rich generosity without overwhelming the silky texture. The finish is long and delicate.
A DRIVE FOR QUALITY, LED BY GEORGES PAULI, MAESTRO OF LA FAVIÈRE
The EXPERIENCE of Georges Pauli is a major asset. A wine expert and agronomist, his name is linked to prestigious Bordeaux estates and is synonymous with excellence, talent and passion.
THE QUEST FOR EXCELLENCE is reflected in the owners' determination to use the same methods as those used for Grand Crus.
"A good wine starts with good grapes," says Georges Pauli, who writes the wine-growing specifications himself. "And then, every detail matters." All decisions, at every stage, are taken without compromise. The decision to produce two wines made it possible to find the best possible expression of each plot, with unyielding discipline.
GENERAL HARMONY Georges Pauli and the team at La Favière believe in the creation of a propitious climate of excellence. The harmony is in the land, the vines, the myriad daily tasks, the human ties… Nothing is left to chance.