“My father is in love with his land, he is craving for it. I have often heard the laborers say that they enjoyed working here, because when the boss works next to them, his hands dig in the same soil as theirs, and it is stimulating. It is both a sign of respect towards the laborers and respect of nature ”.
Love nature and go along with iT
The Schweitzer family has chosen to lead the vineyard towards an environmentally-friendly culture, an asset for the consumer and the people who tend the vineyards.
To this end, careful and daily care is put into use on the vines. Ploughing between the rows of vines and in between the vines, prick the suckers and the unwanted new shoots, pick the leaves off and thin them out form the culture pattern in the vineyards.
Besides, carcinogenic products are replaced by more natural products such as pulverized clay to fight black rot or the use of a device dispensing pheromones as an alternative to pesticides.
Nature is not static, therefore we have to attend it all along the way, right until the grapes are fully ripe and dispense their full aroma.
the gem of the Château Bourdieu
When Luc Schweitzer is lastly assisted by his two sons, he decided that this occurrence should be marked in the family history and launches in 2016 the last of the vintage of the Château Bourdieu: ABSOLU. This high quality vintage is the outcome of what the terroir can yield.
The 35 years old vines, facing full south, are carefully and constantly looked after: regular tilling, yield control, manual removing of leaves, sorting out of grapes, all of these practices insure the formula of this great Bordeaux wine.
"On a surface of 98,84 acres with huge potential, we only keep the best, that is to say 17,29 or 19,76 acres worth of it.
It is not only done through distinctive plots-by-plots selection but even more ultimately in land patches."
Being precise & demanding
... from pruning to leaves removal
Once the pruning is over (known as ‘Guyot double’ throughout the whole vineyard), the next important spring job is to remove some buds to leave only three or four per stems, on the plots selected for the production of the future Absolu vintage. Its aim is to reduce yields and in doing so to increase the concentration of aromas contained in the grapes.
Another important step, is the removal of leaves which lets the grapes exposed to the sunshine particularly when it sets, but still protects them from the scorching of the noon sun.
… at the dawn of the grape picking season
To improve the selection of the grapes regarding their diameter, weight and colour, the Château Bourdieu has acquired an electronic table with an optical sorting device.
… working in a cellar undergoing constant progress
The cellars are fully equipped with stainless steel vats, of minimal capacities in order to mature the wine and intensify the plot selection. A temperature regulation system rigorously controls the temperature throughout the fermentation.
"Where machines cannot go, man will always have the capacity to amend imperfections."
A very gentle maturing
The carefully selected harvest is kept in a cellar designated for this prestigious vintage which will develop for 18 months in brand new French oak barrels. There, it is partly matured in “pearls” manufactured by the barrel maker Quintessence, whose truncated ovoid shaped barrels allow a better fermentation of grape juice which improves owing to interaction with the pomace.
”Working on small volumes allows us to control the evolution of the crop from each plot and to proceed very accurately.”
Composed of Merlot (79%), Cabernet-Sauvignon (17%) and Malbec (4%), Absolu is an intense wine, displaying aromas of very ripe black fruit. Its backbone made of silky tannins has a long lasting taste. To produce these organoleptic qualities, the Schweitzer family is helped by two oenologists: Eric Bardon and Christian Veyri.
“The inception of the Absolu vintage marks the outcome of 25 years of labor in the vineyard and coincides with the arrival of my two sons, Richard and Ludovic, in the business.”