Everybody knows that 2015 has been the hottest year since temperatures have been recorded, so an early harvest would seem quite obvious.
However for us, on the Mediterranean coast, we don’t see it the same way. In fact after a very wet winter that brought massive water supplies and filled up the water table, the dry spring period didn’t seem as hot as in other regions. As in 2014, the water supplies were good, even excellent, with rainfalls twice as heavy as on average.
The weather was certainly warmer than the previous year but there was no hot spell during the spring period. Thus the 2015 vintage went on growing smoothly and by the end of July, it was about 10 days ahead of the 2014 vintage. But the heat was never overwhelming like in 2003, despite very high averages.
Concerning rainfall, a series of thunderstorms around mid-June brought 60 mm on top of the former water supplies. This allowed the vine to flourish all summer. And in these conditions, we had little risk of disease, though we remained watchful.
Holidays ended early, on 26 August, to start harvesting Grenache grapes for the rosé wine. The grapes taste good, the alcohol potential is slightly high and the acidity level is slightly low. Surprisingly the first juices have some freshness.
The momentum was picking up as if the vine had come to the end of its cycle; we decide to harvest quite fast to keep that freshness and because the grapes taste very good, even after a thunderstorm during the harvest.
We finish picking on 18 September; the volume seems slightly less than in 2014.
At the end of the month the first impression of the 2015 vintage is promising – the rosé wines are flavorful and full bodied, the red wines show a fine balance between fruit, freshness and tannin.
Here’s the concluding note from Christian Reboul , our vineyard manager: “a harvest in these conditions every year -- I’ll sign on immediately.” With differing vintages of course!
Daniel Ravier – October 2015