Small grapes, great wines This has been a surprising vintage. Characterised by a dry summer, it produced small grapes, particularly on the poorest soils (shale). Despite the extreme conditions, our wines are well-balanced, smooth, rich and beautifully fresh. The 2016 vintage in Saint-Chinian was affected by a serious water deficit, particularly during the key periods. Autumn and winter didn’t provide the rain that was needed to rebuild the reserves in the soil: the deficit was around 50 %. In spring, May was unusually wet and cold. The rain certainly helped the vines to grow but didn’t rebuild the water reserves. The poor weather led to flower abortion (grape fertilisation problems) in the Grenache vines, which are very sensitive, and therefore a significantly lower harvest. Summer was extremely dry (similar to 1981 and 2001) and quite hot. As a result, the grapes didn’t grow very large. Towards the end of the season, the young vines (which have still not got their roots deep down) and the vines planted on poorer soils suffered from hydric stress, which slowed the ripening process. These extreme weather conditions led to the following results: - A reduced Grenache harvest. - A reduced harvest from the young vines. - A reduced harvest from the vines planted on shale soils. - High-quality grapes. Intense colours and an easy extraction, which have allowed us to take the vinification process gently.
The harvest was our smallest since 2009 (a little over 20 hl per hectare) but has fortunately produced wines in the cellar that appear, after initial tasting, to be very promising. - The white wines are fresh but fleshy and offer good aromatic expression. This should be confirmed during the winter. - The reds are very well-rounded and pleasing, with predominant dark berry and spice aromas.
Saint-Chinian, 12 November 2016