This year, summer’s relative humidity and cool temperatures, combined with considerable available water in the soils, promoted uninterrupted growth in the vine. Practises in the vineyard were fine-tuned accordingly, maintaining significant leaf surface area in order to reduce available water, painstakingly targeted leaf-plucking and secondary shoot removal, and careful selection before harvesting in order to retain only berries of uniform ripeness.
This involved laborious work in the vineyard, which once again this year showed no signs of relenting over the summer. We were in a position to approach September with renewed calm, relieved by the onset of such a magnificent Indian summer.
Harvesting lasted 3 whole weeks, as we leisurely picked healthy, perfectly ripe grapes, in ideal conditions.
With this great quality fruit, we controlled extractions by low-temperature pre-fermentation maceration, followed by pumping over or gently punching down the cap once fermentations were underway, depending on the parcels.
Since the wines were transferred to barrel at the end of January, the wines are already showing concentrated structure and silky texture, making this without doubt a great vintage at Château Belgrave.