Clos Guirouilh Jurançon Sec, 2017
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Clos Guirouilh is among the most hardcore, traditional domaines of Jurançon, a rare producer who provides us a window into the historic soul of a wine region. Clos Guirouilh is located around 350 meters in elevation above the village of Lasseube, and it is this terroir that is the key to making the truly distinctive and complex wines that the region is known for. Their 10 hectares of gros manseng, petit manseng, and petit courbu are grown on clay calcareous soils with lots of yellow sandstone called grès, all directly around the ancient farmhouse that serves as both winery and home. The vines are all in excess of forty years old and are highly trellised to take advantage of the Foehn wind and all of the benefits that great ventilation
brings to a vineyard. The soils and elevations contribute to giving the wines their fresh, acidic framework for balance and complexity. Nothing at Clos Guirouilh is rushed, and there are no concessions to the pace of the modern world; the wines are released when they are deemed ready to drink after a long period of cellar aging.
2017 was a wild ride in Jurançon, as with the rest of France. There was a warm start to the year, with an April that was overall average but with extreme highs and lows, including a famously destructive frost in
March, which caused a severe reduction of yields. However, this favored concentration and structure in the wines. Summer was dry with a rainy and relatively cool September that hastened harvest in some cases. Grapes were hand-harvested in mid-October under ideal conditions. The resulting wines are full, concentrated, and complex.
The grapes for the dry cuvées are harvested first, all manually. The grapes are completely destemmed and gently crushed in a pneumatic press. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts occurs in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, where the wine further ages for one year. This cuvée goes through partial malolactic fermentation (around 25%).