THE HARVEST 2015, A HIGHLY ANTICIPATED VINTAGE
The magic multiples of 5 vintages !
The harvesting of the Merlot began on the 21st of September under bright sunshine. The next ten days look sunny and windy which should allow the Cabernet Sauvignon to reach a beautiful maturity. The first plots give us hope of a generous harvest, will the magic of the multiples of 5 work again… ?
A later budding than average
The feeble winter rainfall and cool temperatures in March delayed the budding. It was not until the beginning of April when 50% of the physiological stage was reached.We had dry weather, and the temperature was warming rapidly (28°C from the 13th of April), up until the 1st of May. The vines were growing fast, no water stress and favorable temperatures set the tempo for this month of May.
A very early summer
Summer arrived on the 2nd of June promoting a fast and homogeneous blossoming for all the grape varieties. This made up for the delay! It has been a long time since we had not had such conditions for the flowering, we can finally hope to produce a decent yield! Only one rainy period in the month of June and a summer that seems to settle permanently. Note that we only had 19mm of rainfall between the 13th of June and the 2nd of August! The month of July was one of the hottest in the last 20 years.
Medium to high levels of water stress became apparent on some soils, which manifested quickly and the vine growth appeared to stop at the end of July. The ripening of the grapes finally began!The ripening started from mid-July but the lack of water hindered its progress until the weekend of the 1st of August, when the Merlot and the Cabernet were simultaneously changing color.
The month of August was more unstable and was marked by a period of rainfall every 10 days. The weather remained hot with little temperature difference between night and day
The health status of the vines at this point was perfect; all that was left to do was to wait for the berries to ripen.
The homogeneity between the grape varieties, with a color change starting at the beginning of August, guaranteed an earlier harvest date than usual, which generally is an advantage in the rhythm and means we obtain a quality harvest.
The levels of water stress in the vines and their precocity enabled a quick ripening of the seeds. The richness in polyphenols is situated in average in the best vintages with thick skins.
By this we already know that we can extract more than we could for the latest vintages as the tannins of the skins and the seeds are rich and ripe.
The harvesting of the Merlot started on the 21st of September, just like in 2005, is this another sign … ? They are crunchy and tasty with an alcohol potential level between 13.5% and 14.5%. The color is extracted quickly unlike the round and silky tannins which diffuse more slowly. The acidity is lower than last year without reaching the levels obtained in 2009. We had already remarked this on the Sauvignon Blanc which started on the 3rd of September.
The Merlot harvest should finish on the 30th of September. It’s safe to say the harvest of the Cabernets will follow starting in the beginning of October. The harvest of the Petit Verdot, a variety that lies on excellent terroirs, is likely to slip somewhere into the middle of the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest. The first tastings of the grapes and the vats suggest that the wines will be powerful yet rich without any severity. They should be racy and silky.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the verdict will fall in a few days, the 10th of October may indeed be the final day of harvest as it was in 2005!
Matthieu BORDES – General Director