On the clay soils of Château Pey La Tour, the first warm and rainy months proved at times complicated for work in the vineyard, causing constant disease pressure until summer came. Vigilance was our byword, adapting viticultural practices to the needs of each parcel to reduce the risks that go hand in hand with these challenging weather conditions. Fortunately, flowering was quick and regular, fully benefiting from the brief dry and sunny interlude 7 – 17 June and progressing well.
The largely replenished water reserves gave the vines the necessary energy to withstand the exceptionally dry summer, and also considerably reduced disease pressure in the vines. This said, after spring’s excessive rainfall, the summer deficit gave much cause for concern. While veraison got off to a great start amid good weather, revealing great quality potential, the berries struggled to gain in volume with some stress in the younger vines.
In September, 45mm of miraculous rain kickstarted the ripening process once more. From this point forwards the vine counteracted any water stress: the skins, still slightly tough up to this point, began to rapidly soften, concentrating the phenolic compounds. The Merlot harvest, the predominant varietal, extended at a leisurely pace until 16 October. The colours are intense and the tannins silky. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, harvested late 19 October, are concentrated and well-structured, having fully benefited from the lovely Indian summer.
2016 joins the historic ranks of great vintages at Château Pey La Tour!