In The Cellar
Nearly all our wine is matured in French oak, some in old oak “foudres” and some in classic Burgundian barrels or “fûts”.
These are large oak 3,000 litre barrels around 70 years old. Because the wood is old there is no oak taste.
They are the traditional way of maturing a Morgon, but are not so much used today as they are difficult to clean and manage. Each year Sarah climbs inside through the tiny doors which measure only 36cm by 22cm to scrub and clean the insides.
These old fashioned vessels provide a wonderful maturation for Chateau Grange Cochard Vieilles Vignes, totally distinct from maturing in stainless steel or cement tanks.
We also use for our other cuvées classic Burgundian style 228 litre barrels, both old and new. We are not seeking a strong oak flavour in any of our wines, so only about 10 to 15% of our barrels are new each year.
Our new barrels are supplied by Tonellerie Chassin in Burgundy. They are a small exclusive producer who supply some of the top names in Burgundy and worldwide. We taste with the tonellier the previous years wines matured in his barrels so as to discuss what forest we should use for the following year and any adjustments to the toast of the barrel.
We leave the wine to mature in peace and quiet until summer or early autumn when we bottle. In order to minimise oxygenation and stress, we use inert nitrogen gas to push the wine back to the winery for the bottling process.
As part of our philosophy of minimum intervention, we allow only very low sulphur levels. We always use less than 50% of the permitted amount (which is the generally accepted definition of “Low Sulphur”) and normally much less. Some sulphur is always present as it is a by-product of the fermentation process, and a minimal amount is necessary in wines which are intended to be kept for a number of years to avoid premature oxidation.
After bottling we cellar the wine for a further season so as to give it the bottle age needed to bring out its full character.