At Château Rahoul, the first buds appeared around 10 April, which is fairly normal for this sandy, gravel soil. The first few hot and sunny weeks of spring stimulated the growth of vegetation and a very even flowering took place in these ideal conditions. Such good weather throughout the season meant that the vines were in excellent health.
The rate at which the vines were growing began to slow a little in July, and veraison of the red varieties didn’t happen until the beginning of August on the gravel parcels of the vineyard, which are more sensitive to lower volumes of rainfall. The white varieties on the cooler clay soils benefitted greatly from moderate temperatures throughout August. We started the vintage by bringing in a parcel of early-ripening Sauvignon Blanc 27 August, then picked perfectly ripe fruit over several mornings up until 15 September.
We took full advantage of such a healthy vineyard and some fantastic weather conditions by harvesting the red grapes over the course of three weeks, allowing detailed plot by plot management, allowing each parcel to ripen fully without any pressure to pick earlier. This very fine 2015 vintage at Château Rahoul is already characterised by soft tannins and lovely balance.