A vintage that is both concentrated and fresh
A cold spell at the end of winter led to a vintage that was a little later than previous ones (the harvest began on 20 September and ended on 1st October). The dry winter was followed by a wet spring, which helped to build up reserves that turned out to be very useful later on. The summer was extremely dry, the traditional mid-July and mid-August storms did not come and, shortly before the harvest, some of the vines (mainly Syrah) were showing signs of a lack of water, as was illustrated by the small, highly concentrated grapes. This was combined with a small grape yield. In addition, the summer months, along with April, were hotter than average. All of these factors led to a small harvest (an estimated 24 hl/ha to date), though slightly higher than last year (20 hl/ha). In short, these yields are not economically viable at our sale prices. As far as quality – the most important factor – is concerned, ideal phenolic maturity combined with concentration has produced some fine, rich, colourful, well-balanced wines that contain a certain acidity. The cool nights prior to the harvest were particularly favourable towards bringing out the fruit. In a vintage of this type, the quality of the terroirs (especially on the hillsides), the work we do to encourage the vines to produce good roots and the low yields were key factors in providing well-ripened grapes and balanced wines. We now need to keep a close eye on the wines and confirm these initial observations with the arrival of the first frosts of winter.
Saint-Chinian, 18 october 2010