2020, a calmer vintage, full of roundness and balance
After a 2019 marked by massive and concentrated wines, the exceptionally early 2020 vintage marks the return of fresher wines with great balance.
The dry and very hot summer of 2019 required a rainy winter to allow water reserves to be replenished. This was the case from October to December 2019 with a cumulative rainfall of 400 to 500 mm depending on the area, then with a particularly wet late spring. The winter temperatures were quite mild which led to a very early bud break. The spring remained very mild, confirming the great precocity of the vintage with flowering in mid-May. Rainfall was almost absent from mid-June to the beginning of August, until several rainy episodes prevented any risk of water stress. The summer was hot but not scorching. The veraison started at the end of July and was very fast.
The first plots of white grapes were harvested in the third week of August and those of Syrah in early September. Around September 20th, some rain (40 to 60 mm) delayed the harvesting, slowing down the accumulation of sugars but accelerating the phenolic ripening of the Grenache and Mourvèdre. The harvest continued serenely until mid-October, no weather episode interrupting it, and the winegrowers were able to harvest each of their plots at the optimum of their maturity. The grapes were very healthy and required little sorting. The alcoholic fermentations took place without any problems.
2019, Structure, colour, healthy grapes : A superb vintage
2019 witnessed a normal rainy spring, after an exceptionally rainy spring in 2018.
The autumn and winter rainfalls (460 mm) launched the vegetative period and provided the soils with good water reserves. April and May were moderately cold, marked by fast -and then suddenly slow- growing periods. This phenomenon can trigger coulure (= failure of the fruit to set. The growing season was very with only 158 mm total rainfall (against 530 mm in 2018 and 185 mm in 2017). It was also very hot, with 7 every 10 days exceeding 30°C (86°F) between 1st June and 15th September. At the end of June, a heat wave hit the region, peaking at 44.3°C (111.2°F) on 28th June.
In the face of these extreme weather conditions, the foliage did rather well. The water shortage however impacted the size of the berries that remained comparatively small. By harvest time, the grapes were showing a beautiful sanitary state albeit a low yield in juice. The 15 mm rainfall on 18 September was rather welcome and allowed the grenache grapes to reach phenolic maturity. The yield is slightly up from average, compared to the last few years.