ALINE BALY - Special cuvees and their effect on the rest of the wine

I have always wondered about the modern trend to make special cuvees-like Cuvee Madame. Does that not reduce the overall quality of the remaining wine?

A great question!

At Coutet this tradition is far from being modern. Check on my last post in regards to how Cuvee Madame came to be…

It does not reduce the quality of the first wine. The only reason that the specific lot that can lead to a Cuvee Madame is set aside is because it is so different from our first wine: more concentrated and more opulent. When you harvest, a lot represents the picking of one parcel (which is only one cepage) on one particular day. So if our oldest parcels give us Cuvee Madame concentration levels, they are set aside cause they have the capacity to give us a wine that is sooo different. But if we don’t reach the right concentration levels, then they wont have the “je ne sais quoi” to be a separate cuvee and will thus be aged along with the rest of the Coutet lots.

Sometimes nature gives us such perfect conditions that we have to pay respect/homage for that moment of perfection by capturing it.