The first half of the year was blessed with excellent conditions, with the first signs of flowering emerging 29 May, slightly earlier than average. Hot and dry weather lasting just over seven weeks from mid-June to the end of July, blocked growth in the youngest vines. We meticulously adapted canopy management techniques to minimise the effects of water stress, and the vineyard coped well as a result.

A spate of moderate rainfall in the middle of summer proved sufficient for veraison to get underway across the entire vineyard. The grapes swelled and favourable weather at the beginning of autumn facilitated excellent ripening. Harvesting lasted two weeks, and with no rainfall, we were able to leisurely pick each parcel at optimum ripeness.

The Merlots are fruity, smooth and impressively structured; the Cabernet Sauvignons, at perfect ripeness, show remarkable finesse and offer aromas of cassis and red fruits, against a backdrop of exceptionally elegant tannins. The Petit Verdots explode on the palate and reveal great freshness, despite their potential tannins. 2015 looks like a magnificent vintage at Château de Ricaud.