The grapes are handpicked and sorted with the greatest of care. Grapes from each separate plot are fermented separately in large oak vats, allowing for slow, gentle extraction of the tannins. The wine is aged in barrels for twelve months and then fined before bottling at the château.
Substractive method. In the past, the destemming and the crushing were done at the same time and a non-negligible quantity of undesirable vegetal matter (pieces of stem, green berries, leaves) was mixed with the wine grapes.
Adding a sorting table between a top-of-the-line destemmer and the crusher has enabled removal by hand of all elements that can give a vegetal character to the free run wine. This is a decisive stage towards expressing the purity of free run wines.
These allow intense, passive maceration of the cap of grape solids in the juice.
Selective devatting by layer. Selective devatting by layer is a Château Cantemerle innovation. After the running off, the top of the cap (dry and oxidated skins) and the bottom (pips, sediments mixed with the marc) are removed. Only the heart of the cap, that contains the best phenolic compounds, is pressed.
The wine ages lot by lot for 12 months in French oak barrels (medium toast). Then the final blend rests in vats for another 4 months. An ultra-light fining is done during that period of time but no filtration occurs prior to bottling.