Burgundy: An Acte Masterclass with Omri Ram

Burgundy: An Acte Masterclass with Omri Ram

Monday 4th March 2019
by Tom Jenkins

We were thrilled to have Omri Ram hosting the Acte Masterclass. Here is a few words from Omri about Acte and his thoughts on the new vintage.

"We just finished the very first ever masterclass of the Acte project with Justerini & Brooks. It is the first time we have presented a vertical of Acte externally. Until now, this has been an academic exercise to help the technical team to evaluate the project.

The thing with Acte is it’s an ambition project. It is a long-term project. It’s creating someone thing from zero. It’s not a new label but a new vineyard. A vineyard that may become a new cru that people will recognise in the future, but it takes a lot of time and decision making.

The genesis of this project starts long before Acte 1 (2009). Years of soil studies, sourcing and negotiation were required to locate the finest, five-star terroirs of Fronsac. The vision was to find the greatest clay and limestone parcels, suitable for making wines in the Lafleur mould. That is not to say Acte is intended to be a replica. Lafleur is a unique terroir in Pomerol. The best soils of Fronsac are more reminiscent of the Cote and plateau of St Emilion. The ambition was to create a new cru using Lafleur genetics and best terroirs in the commune.

What we wanted to show today in the masterclass is that this project is growing, changing and shaping up to what we wanted it to be. We presented six vintages; with each pair characterising a different phase of that project. Firstly, we presented 2010/2012, which represents the beginning, or as we now refer to it, the past. It is a phase where we had nothing and had to imagine everything. This was the trial and error phase. We then moved to 2013/2014, which signifies the transitional stage. This is the phase where our ideas started to become reality. The old vine genetics from the Lafleur vineyard are beginning to come to fruition, and we see an aromatic and textural evolution in the wines. We completed the journey with 2015/16 - a steer to the future of this project. The vineyard is already installed with genetics from Lafleur, we know we have an outstanding terroir, and the third and vital component was the growing season. For the first time we have two great vintages and everything to support them.

It’s important for those in the masterclass to see the differences from each of the three phases to begin to understand how a new creation takes time and evolution. We know it’s not the finished article yet, but we think we are getting there…

Thoughts on the 2018 vintage

"Hot and dry! Of course, there was humidity early on in the growing season, but this is a vintage characterised by the heat and drought in July and August. 2018 is the vintage where we are getting back to the real Acte. For the first time we have something very unique because we have a great vintage (again) and it’s the first time we will have only used Buchet, this old Cabernet Franc genetic, which comes from the original Lafleur vineyard. We will see in April when people come and start to taste it, but my first tastings are saying we are on a positive road."