At Château Pey La Tour, some more exposed parcels were hit hard by the frost at the end of April. Fortunately, a key section of our vineyard escaped the dramatic weather without damage. We have applied a variety of vineyard management techniques so as to meet the specific needs of each zone. Amongst the vines that were unaffected, the first flowers bloomed on 24th May, more than 10 days earlier than is usual at this property.
Even and rapid flowering took place under the ideal conditions of a week of sunshine. The hot and dry conditions that followed allowed the frost-affected vines to recover and the unscathed vines to develop normally.
The vineyards began to ripen on 20th July, confirming that the vintage was developing ahead of the norm. Maturation continued to develop under favourable weather conditions, alternately rainy and warm and sunny with cool nights. Our hard work and rigorous vineyard management meant that we were able to take our time when it came to start picking one of the earliest vintages in 20 years on a normally late-ripening clay terroir.
Merlot, the principal grape variety at Château Pey La Tour, joined by Cabernets and Petits Verdots, will benefit from barrel maturation to bring elegance to the wines. Early tastings have revealed wines with deep colour and round, full-bodied structure. 2017 has delivered a very attractive vintage, despite significantly reduced volumes.