2006 vintage

The 2005 little son...

In late July, it was being widely reported that another outstanding vintage was on the cards but such pronouncements proved to be a bit premature. At that time, everything in the vineyard was looking good, following three months of low rainfall and glorious sunshine in May, June and July. The all-important flowering passed smoothly (starting may, 29th), ensuring even fruit set, and the earlier ripening Merlots went through veraison (changing from green to red) as soon as july, 22nd, in great shape. But then August, which wasn’t especially damp, was the coolest for nearly 20 years, slowing up the advances gained in the earlier part of the summer. The threat of mildew was acute but the potential was still there for an excellent harvest for our well-maintained vineyards, more so when the hot weather returned in early September. The first 10 days of the month were the hottest on record – the nights were hot and the days almost tropical – but there were heavy rains on September 15 and 21 and the weather remained unstable after that, until october, 12th.

It was a difficult season... We had more rain since 16th august to early september than we usually have in the all summer. Many growers picked unripe grapes in panic 'to avoid further loss', due to rot.  Fortunately, preventive measures in the vineyard had been taken: We leaf-plucked, debudded, green harvested assiduously to reduce yield and allow air to circulate. On the eve of harvest, analyses showed such ripeness that we thought we might have another 2005 on our hands. We had a natural average degree of 13.5 to 14.5 for the Merlot – brilliant, just like in 2005 -, all grapes were absolutely fantastic, with high degrees, great ripeness, and smoothing tannins. But already this year we had the inverse of what is normal: a hot and dry July and a muggy and cold August, instead of the other way around. After the sun returned in the first two weeks of september, the rains came again...

Vinifications are now finished ; It's time for a first insight : Dry whites show great potential. Sauvignons show firm acidity balanced by ageing on lees mouth-filling texture. They brim with peach, broom, and tropical fruits. Semillons, with charming citrus notes, give an interesting complement for 'assemblages'. Deep in colour, Merlots are round, medium to full-bodied and show good density, with appealing flavours of blackcurrant, blackberry, and black cherry together with outstanding nuts aromas. Cabernet sauvignons are especially aromatic (cassis, exotic fruits). I may say that sun is back after the storm. For those who like to see things in black and white, 2006 will probably be a very good vintage at the top end, better than 2002 or 2004, and even 2001. But this is not another 2005.

Harvest time and analytic datas of wines at the end of alcoholic fermentation 

- Sauvignon: 09 to 12/09/2006. natural degrees : 12,2 à 12,9 % alc/vol.

- Semillon September 15th, 2006. natural degrees: 12,1 à 12,6 % alc/vol.

- Merlot: 21 to 26/09/2006. natural degrees: 12,9 à 14,7 % alc/vol. CImax* : 28

- Cabernet-franc:  October 2nd, 2006. natural degrees: 13,1 à 14,0 % alc/vol. CImax* : 16

- Cabernet-sauvignon: 06 to 10/10/2006. natural degrees: 12,8 à 13,3 % alc/vol. CImax* : 26

* maximum Color Intensity 

Climatic datas (with differences to the last 30 years average)

April

Light time : 192 h (+ 15 h)

Average temperature : 12°, 7 (+ 1, 1 °)

Rain height: 27 mm (- 53 mm)

 

May

Light time : 228 h (+ 7 h)

Average temperature : 16°, 7 (+ 1°,3)

Rain height :47 mm (-37 mm)

 

June : the most sunny

Light time : 258 h (+33 h)

Average temperature : 21°,4 (+ 3°,1)

Rain height : 25 mm (- 39 mm)

 

July : the hottest since 1921

Light time : 242 h ( -1 h)

Average temperature : 25°,2 ( + 4°,4)

Rain height : 46 mm (- 9 mm)

 

August : the coolest since 1986

Light time : 225 h (- 24 h)

Average temperature : 19,8 °( - 1°)

Rain height : 72 mm (+ 12mm)

 

September : the hottest since 1946

Light time : 204 h ( + 23h)

Average temperature : 21,1( + 3 °)  

Rain height

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Château LAMOTHE-VINCENT  ¨ 3 chemin laurenceau ¨ 33760 Montignac ¨ France ¨ Tél: 33 556 239 655 ¨ Fax: 33 556 239 772

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