"No global warming? Very few winegrowers would agree, in the light of the early harvest dates. 2017 gives ample credence to the phenomenon since we ended the harvest on 12 September! In the 60s and 70s, the harvest would start around 25 September and sometimes in October. This year, once again, we started in August, on 22 August.
After the very dry 2016 vintage (320 mm of rainfall between two harvests) autumn, winter and spring saw a lot of rainfall 450 mm. Abundant rainfalls, not the Mediterranean storms, but regular rainfall. We thought the water supplies were going to be replenished!
In spring there was a cold period, almost freezing, but we were spared. On 5 April, it hailed on La Laidière and La Migoua and some buds were damaged.
As of mid-May the Mediterranean climate returned with a heat wave which boosted the vine growth, but also weeds, because of the water reserves.
As we always fear the summer drought and therefore more weeds growing between the vines, soil tilling was essential in order to air it out and to prevent the weeds from consuming water.
The end of spring and all summer were on the whole very hot and dry since there were only 35 mm of rainfall from mid-April to the end of September. The high water temperature of the sea fostered fog banks which could give rise to Oidium; we had to be very careful.
We wished to keep some freshness in our wines so we started harvesting on 22 August with grenache grapes for rosé. Given the climate conditions of the year, we had to pick fast not to let the grapes get too ripe, something we wanted to avoid. That’s why the harvest was one of the shortest in the history of the estate even though there were almost 60 ha to cover.
Fermenting is slow and the temperatures are not really increasing. Yet the wines go through different phases: they may be very hard at times only to become well-balanced at the end of the alcohol fermentation.
Our first impressions are good: the wines are fragrant and fresh, with the dominant character being delicacy. We shall confirm this with further tastings as soon as possible".
Daniel RAVIER, October 13, 2017