2016 was a year with many twists and turns!
Winter was rather gloomy, as well as exceptionally mild and rainy. This led to early bud break from the 24th to the 28th of March (variable depending on the estate).
Beautiful, dry weather in the first week of June was accompanied by markedly above-average temperatures. This changed things considerably at the beginning of flowering, which was quick and even (starting on the 2nd of June in the most early-maturing plots).
However, the profile of the vintage changed radically as of the 20th of June.
Temperatures returned to the seasonal average, although there were a few peaks above 35°C in mid-July. Fruit set and bunch closure took place under very favourable conditions. The very dry weather brought about moderate water stress conducive to even véraison (colour change), which ended on the 15th of August in late-maturing plots.
Nevertheless, excessive water stress did not occur because reserves had been reconstituted thanks to rainfall in the early part of the year. Furthermore, the von Neipperg vineyards have deeply-rooted vines and excellent soil covering management.
The diurnal temperature difference in August and the first two weeks in September accounted for the very harmonious development of aromas and tannins. It rained on the 13th and 30th of September, giving a boost to ripening. The grapes already had an attractive freshness and fruitiness at this time!
The month of October was cooler, but still very sunny, which enabled our Cabernet Franc and (rare) Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to ripen perfectly.
The harvest began on the 26th of September at Canon La Gaffelière and finished on the 18th of October at Château d'Aiguilhe.
At the present time, i.e. at this stage of ageing, all the wines from our estates are showing beautiful aromatic complexity. The new wines are fresh, well-focused, and fruity with good body and tannin.
We will be delighted for you to taste them, because this is a truly great vintage!