* As the ideal Fall 2005 season proceeded, Benoit Gautier decided to leave a small, ¾ of a hectare parcel of grapes in the commune of Parcey-Meslay with which to make a late harvest cuvee, called Cuvee du 5 Novembre 2005. In late October, he did two tours of the vineyard to eliminate any grapes that were not ripening well, so that all of fruit at harvest would be uniformly healthy and mature. Gautier harvested on November 5th, as the grapes had reached a level of 210 grams per litre of sugar. The yield was a mere 20 hl/ha. The choice of November 5th was dictated by the first frost of the season, which occurred in the early morning hours of that day. Gautier hurried to pick the fruit between 8 and 9:30 in the morning, when the temperature was still just below freezing. The time of picking had a two-fold significance: the frost had concentrated the juice while preserving acidity, and, because the day had yet to warm up, there was no excess moisture on the grape skins. Fermentation proceeded naturally for four months. The entire cuvee was matured in five, 225 litre barrels, all of which were five years old. The wine rested on its lees until it was bottled in September 2006. The final residual sugar level is 160gl/l. The entire production of Cuvee du 5 Novembre was bottled in 2000, 500ml bottles. It offers a magnificent balance of intense sweetness and notes of tropical fruit with great freshness derived from the fruity acidity of the Chenin Blanc grapes. It can be enjoyed now or aged to bring out the secondary flavors and aromas unique to Chenin Blanc.
* Wine Spectator (31/08/2008) : " Sweet and juicy, with lots of fig, quince and candied citrus peel flavors, backes by a round, lengthy finish. Very forward and fruit-driven, but with enough freshness for balance. drink now through 2010." 1.000 cases imported. - J.M.