At Château la Garde, our meticulous approach to soil management has been instrumental to the success of a vintage characterised by changeable weather. Practices such as temporary cover planting and natural grassing over, established for several years now, have helped to optimise water management in the vines.
The slight delay incurred over the rainy spring continued in the drought conditions of the first summer months, but veraison got off to a clean start after the downpour 4 August. Under the influence of the relatively cool nights at the end of August, the majority varietal Sauvignon blanc, and Semillon, gained good aromatic potential which we would notice during fermentation and ageing. The fresh, expressive minerality in the wines is backed by notes of citrus fruit and wild peach.
Veraison in the reds, which were languishing on the deep gravel soils of Château la Garde, notched up a gear with mid-September’s light, but adequate rainfall. The subsequent run of ideal day/night temperature variation through to harvesting also played a vital role. We harvested selectively 4 – 18 October, patiently adjusting intake planning as each grape variety and plot reached maximum ripeness.
The profile of the wine rapidly comes to the fore during the fermentations and extractions, which were managed with extreme precision to retain the sweet, silky character of the concentrated tannins. The ripe, very fruity Merlots reveal intense colour; the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot reveal rich, full-bodied structure and abundant elegance. Really lovely wines that reward all our hard work throughout the year.