The 2019 vintage will be characterised by the dry spring and then the scorching summer. On June 28th, a heatwave hit the South of France. Temperatures soared to their highest ever recorded, reaching more than 45°c. As at a number of estates, our plots were impacted. Varietals such as Roussanne were unable to cope and many grape-clusters were burnt.
Other varietals fared better. A number of the vines showed good resistance to the increasing drought. We were fortunate not to witness any excessive defoliation in the vineyard, so grapes could ripen under the protection of the leaf canopy.
The first grapes cut from the vine were Chardonnay, on 21st August. They were immediately put in a cold room and soon after transferred to the winery. Other white varieties followed: Viognier, Sauvignon, Vermentino, Clairette, Albarinho and, finally, Petit Manseng. The juice was excellent, very aromatic, which bodes well for structure and freshness in the vintage.
As September approached, we turned our attention to selections of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre – these for our rosés, while completing the harvesting of the whites.
Harvesting for the reds began mid-September with Syrah and Cinsault from the best plots. The Grenache and Mourvèdre waited it out some days and were not in the winery till the end of September/start of October. As with every year, the vendange was completed with the harvesting of our Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2019 vintage will be about black fruits with wonderful aromatic concentration, but also supple silky tannins and gentle extraction that will keep the fruit fresh.