The growing season kicked off quickly this year, with a rather early budburst at the end of March and a rapid burst of growth in a vineyard that is usually slow to develop. Causing more damage to the vines growing at the bottom of the slope, the April frosts which struck these vineyards in full growth had little impact on the parcels located on the plateau and the elevated areas on chalky-clay soil. With great care, we varied our approach between the frost-affected vines and those parcels which escaped damage, in order to get the best out of each and every vine.
Aside from this devastating event, which significantly reduced the harvest of parcels destined for the second wine, the climatic conditions of the vintage have fortunately proved to be somewhat favourable. Our clay soils, very like those of Saint-Emilion, have mitigated the effects of a dry summer followed by a large amount of rainfall at the beginning of September: the vines continued to ripen well; from the rapid onset of flowering to the harvest which we began on 13th September, a most unusual start date for this property. We brought in the last of the Cabernet Francs on 27th September, which is when we are usually just starting the harvest here.
Thanks to the optical sorting table, which we first started using last year, we have been able to refine our selection and vinify only the highest quality grapes. Picked at optimum ripeness, the Merlots are rich, deeply coloured and intense. In addition, some very fresh and balanced Cabernet Francs and for the second year, attractive Petits Verdots, vinified in barrel, are already showing great promise.