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.
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.
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...
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)
time : 192 h (+ 15 h)
temperature : 12°, 7 (+ 1, 1 °)
height: 27 mm (- 53 mm)
time : 228 h (+ 7 h)
temperature : 16°, 7 (+ 1°,3)
height :47 mm (-37 mm)
: the most sunny
time : 258 h (+33 h)
temperature : 21°,4 (+ 3°,1)
height : 25 mm (- 39 mm)
: the hottest since 1921
time : 242 h ( -1 h)
temperature : 25°,2 ( + 4°,4)
height : 46 mm (- 9 mm)
: the coolest since 1986
time : 225 h (- 24 h)
temperature : 19,8 °( - 1°)
height : 72 mm (+ 12mm)
: the hottest since 1946
time : 204 h ( + 23h)
temperature : 21,1( + 3 °)