A very typical, flavourful vintage resulting from a particularly contrasting climate.
The 2006 growing year began with a very wet autumn and winter (double the normal rainfall) that replenished water reserves, despite the violence of the showers. This was very useful, because April, May and June were exceptionally dry. Fortunately, the storms came at the right time in July and mid-August to allow the grapes to change colour and ripen in good conditions on our various ‘terroirs’. As far as temperature was concerned, we had a very cold winter, which meant that budburst came late. This was followed by a very warm spring and early summer, with April temperatures often 20 to 50% higher than normal. July was extremely hot, and only August saw temperatures close to the average, with a regular north wind to keep conditions dry (as in 2001). The hot weather during the growing period meant that the vines grew rapidly, making up for time lost earlier and leading to early ripening, with small berries, thick skins and, of course, a very healthy crop.
We harvested the whites on 29 and 30 August. The grapes were very sweet with good acidity, a promising balance that has been confirmed by our recent tastings. We began harvesting the red grapes in calm conditions on 11 September (as in 2001) after a fine, warm start to the month. There was a short period of rain (23-24/09) halfway through the harvest (which ended on 30 September) but this had no consequences for our work later on, particularly as we had done plenty of thinning work (shoots, leaves, etc.) in spring and summer to make sure the bunches were well aired.
Our high hopes following our tasting of the grapes have been borne out in the cellar. The wines are rich, flavourful and very typical: very similar to the … 2001 vintage. To be continued…