Clos Fourtet enjoys an ideal setting, with its 47 acres of walled vineyard atop a limestone-based plateau. Clos Fourtet was sold in 2001 by the the Lurton family for just under £42 million to the Cuvelier family. By lowering yields, encouraging malolactic fermentation in stainless-steel tanks and employing less new oak, Clos Fourtet shows greater precision.
From January to mid-March, we had long periods of freezing temperatures, and then at the end of March it became wet and cool. April was very dry and slowed vine vegetation shooting. From June 17 until September 10 there was no rain to speak of. The features of the year’s weather were low rainfall (580 mm) and, after the flowering, dry conditions but with no extreme heat.
The vines budded quite late around April 10. But by May the growing season had made up the delay, and mid-flowering point in the Merlot vines was reached on June 4 during a period of quite cool weather, which caused some coulure (shot berries). This partly accounts for the low yields in this vintage. The ripening process was very slow and differed according to terroir, so much so that the harvesting period had to be stretched out to allow the grapes of each plot to be brought in at full ripeness.
The Merlot was picked from September 30 to October 18; the Cabernets from October 18 to 21.