We started this years harvest on Friday September 27th by picking Syrah grapes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as some Grenache in Vacqueyras. All grapes were in perfect shape and of full ripeness. In some vineyards, Grenache yields are very low, due to coulure (dropping of flowers, also called grape shatter) provoked by the hot weather conditions after flowering. Despite the hazardous weather conditions in spring, the grapes are all healthy, tasty and full of juice. The few vineyards in Roaix and Rasteau hit with hail in July did not show any damages on the fruit.
Throughout harvest, weather conditions were very favourable, with days full of sunshine and warmth. Some rainfalls towards the end of September were particularly beneficial to late ripening Mourvèdre grapes and to the vineyards called “Clos Derrière Vielle”, growing at higher altitudes right above Gigondas.
First tastings of the fermenting musts seem to keep the promises made by the grapes: A lot of fruit and juicy freshness on Grenache, succulent berries and spicy skins on Syrah, crispy fruit and fine tannins on Mourvèdre. The entire harvest shows moderate sugar contents, which promises great balance between body, freshness and structure in the wines.