2020 harvest report
The 2020 vintage was characterized by a warm climate all year round with record rainfall, particularly during the winter. Such conditions, with exceptionally mild temperatures, have not occurred for at least twenty years.
This mildness caused an early bud break, leading to concern that there could be damage from spring frosts in the final days of March. April and May were similarly mild. Incessant rain made work in the vineyard stressful, with a threat of mildew and the vines continuing to grow. The wet, warm spring resulted in vigorous growth, with plenty of leaf area developing and an early flowering.
The trend then reversed – as it has for some years – with the arrival of summer. The weather suddenly changed, becoming hot and dry, which was ideal for reducing the vines’ vigour and enabling uniform ripening. A temperate August calmed this frenetic cycle; September nevertheless remained summery, and we were able to harvest each plot as it reached perfect ripeness.
The combination of ploughing the soil, controlled yields and biodynamic applications enabled us to compensate for the difficult conditions created by the heavy winter and spring rains, and the hot, dry summer.
The biodynamic treatments also played a major role in supporting the harmonious development of the vines’ growth cycle and stimulating their natural defences against harsh weather and parasites. These were applied in accordance with the seasons and planetary alignment: Maria Thun manure compost in the autumn, horn manure in the spring and horn silica during the vines’ growth phases.
Harvest dates for the white wines
28/08/2020: harvesting of the Sauvignon Blanc at 3am to preserve its aromatic freshness.
30/08/2020: harvesting of the Sémillon, again at 3am, with the Cabernet Sauvignon and some of the Merlot for our rosé blend.
02/09/2020: manual harvesting of the Sémillon grapes at 8am from the property’s oldest plots, dating from 1953.
03/09/2020: manual harvesting of the Muscadelle with a plot of Sémillon, again in the early morning to preserve freshness and avoid oxidation!
29/09/2020: manual harvesting of the Saussignac.
Harvest dates for the red wines
11/09/20: harvesting of the Merlot at 1am, even earlier!
13/09/2020: harvesting of the remaining Merlot, followed by the Malbec.
17/09/2020: manual harvesting of the Cabernet Franc for our Grand Vin.
Exceptionally, all the harvests were completed in September, whereas in other years picking has continued into early October. This vintage was harvested 15 days earlier than usual.
Characteristics of the 2020 vintage
The wines are now nearly a year old, and the dry whites have proved to be seductive with well-balanced aromas. They are lively, fresh and fruity with a superb aromatic palette. The reds are fruity, round and supple with a fairly deep colour, no vegetal structure and polished tannins.
For the 2019 vintage, we had a mild, dry winter, and a cool, rainy spring, followed by an extremely hot summer, which resulted in wines with notes of black fruit, liquorice and spices, and above all with a rich tannic structure.
The 2020 vintage was characterized by incessant rain and then drought, but still offers excellent quality and aromas. The wines are expressive, with bright fruity notes, the structures are ample and balanced, leaving a sensation of fullness on the palate.
For the first time, a Merlot/Malbec Cuvée Nature with no added sulphur has been produced: M de Monestier, with PGI Périgord status, boasting a dark purple colour and a fresh yet very flavourful palate.