The year began with excellent climatic conditions – light, heat and dry weather. The very even flowering began a week earlier than the average start date recorded at La Garde. The white grape varieties and the Merlots planted on clay did not struggle with a spate of hot, dry weather of June and July.
For the gravel soils, more sensitive to drought, we tilled the soil lightly to break up the cracks and channels where water was evaporating in order to preserve the moisture in the subsoil and to remove any competition with the cover plants. The vineyard was in excellent health and the rainy periods, intense though not excessively heavy, at the end of July and beginning of August, kickstarted veraison which had been slowed by the high temperatures of previous weeks. With the chilly nights particularly favourable for the white grape varieties, conditions in August were ideal for the development of fine tannins and anthocyans in the red grape varieties.
We picked the Sauvignons and Semillons on 5 separate sweeps from 1 – 10 September, working early in the morning in order to preserve freshness. The reds were picked from 23 September to 8 October. A special mention goes to our Cabernets and Petits Verdots from the “Plateau”, which are superb. With their remarkable intensity of fruit aroma and flavour, the wines herald a wonderful vintage at Château La Garde!