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The vineyards are located just outside the town of St Emilion, to the west, and just to the north of those of Chateau Canon; of the 20 hectare estate, 19 hectares are devoted to vines. They begin on the limestone plateau on which the town is situated, running away towards the first valleys which mark the descent down to the plain, to the west, where the soils are much less favourable. The Clos Fourtet vines average 30 years of age, and undergo leaf thinning in June and August, and later a green harvest in order to maximise quality and reduce yields. Between the rows there is grass in order to increase competition for water in the superficial soil layers, thus forcing the vine roots deeper, and improving their capability to cope with hydric stress. Merlot dominates, at 85% of the vineyard, with Cabernet Sauvignon accounting for 10% and Cabernet Franc just 5%, all planted at a density of 6000 vines/ha. The fruit is harvested by hand into small crates to minimise damage, before fermentation on a plot-by-plot basis in temperature-controlled stainless steel equipment. The must is then macerated for thirty days before racking into barrels, where it undergoes malolactic fermentation, resting here for up to eighteen months, in 80-100% new oak, the balance (if not 100%) being second-year barrels. The grand vin that results, bottled unfiltered and lightly fined, is Clos Fourtet (about 5000 cases per annum), and since 1999 there has been a second wine Closerie de Fourtet (typically 2500 cases per annum). – Description from mriskic

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