A wine must be the reflection of its terroir and its vintage. The first step in preserving all of the different characteristics of my wines is to carry out careful and attentive work in the vineyards.
During the sixties, the Domaines Matrot did not escape the “chemical years” in winegrowing. It was not until my arrival on the estate in 1976 that chemical fertilisers were abandoned and replaced by organic products.
It was at the same time that my father and myself started to introduce a so-called reasoned approach to winegrowing (“lutte raisonnée” in French), which means adjusting the products and their dosage to the disease which needs to be treated.
It was as a result of a natural and progressive process that I began cultivating all of the vineyards of Domaines Matrot organically in the year 2000.
We grow the vines with the greatest respect for the soils using organic manure and ploughing them. Rigorous pruning and disbudding in the spring help to control the yields.
If necessary, we carry out a green harvest before the veraison (before the grapes change their colour). We carefully monitor their sanitary state, the yields as well as their maturity in order to decide on the best date for the harvest. We all know that only ripe grapes can produce high quality wines.
All of these cultivation techniques as well as the respect for the soils and for the vines confer purity of the fruit and the character of the terroir to our wines.
The controls are just as numerous during vinification.
We exercise extreme care as regards barrel hygiene and temperature control during fermentation. We enjoy long and uneventful fermentations for eight to ten weeks.
We also check the quality of the lees which accompany the wine during the maturing process and adjust the “bâtonnage” (stirring up of the lees) according to each vintage.
We try to avoid chaptalisation and never rectify the alcohol content by more than half a degree in order to maintain the natural balance of the grapes. It is important to know that a grape can be ripe at 12 degrees of potential alcohol one year and at 14 degrees the following year.
In a desire to accentuate the character of the vintage, the wines are matured for 11 to 12 months in oak barrels with a capacity of 228 litres.
I use one- to five-year-old barrels for the white wines and 10 to 20 % new barrels for the reds.
After monitoring the redox reactions for 9 to 12 months I decide on the date for bottling.
It is only thanks to the rigorous work carried out in the vineyards and in the cellars that my wines preserve their unique character.
For all of the above reasons I recommend that you wait three to seven years after bottling before drinking them. Decanting the whites will allow them to breathe, to develop their complex aromas and to express their finesse and the personality of their terroir.