Some rains in June and July and a warm start for summer have assumed a good start for the ripening of the grapes. In the beginning of August though, the ripening was running some 10 days late according to 2009.
Strong Tramontana winds provoked higher sugar levels in our grapes, but they kept their natural balance, as acidity was high, too. Close to harvest, the vineyards and grapes were in a very good shape, with almost total absence of mildew and other pests. So we could spend the biggest part of our time in the vineyards tasting grapes to prepare the harvest.
We’ve started harvest at the Domaine de l’Arjolle and the Château de Margon on the 20th of August by picking our first Sauvignon blanc. Mid September, all our grapes for the white wines were in, except the Chardonnay for the Dernière Cueillette and the Muscat for our late harvest cuvee Lyre.
Rainfalls in early September were profitable to our red varieties. The vineyards look splendid with their bright and deep green leafs, and we can even see the revival of our herbal undergrowth between the vines.
In the cellar, fermentations go very well and the first white wines show an astonishing aromatic potential. Juices of the early Merlot, Grenache and Syrah, brought in for our rosé Méridienne, are fresh and balanced and presume a vintage “on the fruit”.
In a general way, our first impressions of this year’s harvest are rather positive. But there is still a lot of work to do, and so we’ll come back to you in November with a final report on this vintage.