2019 was the year of all hazards. Indeed, the climatic vagaries imposed on us a rigorous approach, great flexibility and extreme vigilance in the vineyards throughout campaign.
The flowering process took place in relatively cool and rainy weather. This primordial vegetative stage of the vine did not occur in the best conditions and caused a little leaking (abortion of the vine flower) of our Merlot grapes.
During the night of the 4th to 5th May, we suffered from frost on a plot of Sauvignon blanc of the pigeonnier for around 30%.
From June to the end of July 2019 we experienced a heatwave (with temperatures in July apparently the hottest ever measured in the world). Also, the shortage of water was felt, and despite heavy rains on the 26th and 27th of July with a total of 50 mm, the vines suffered from water stress which blocked the vegetative process of certain plots. The ripening process was very heterogeneous, in August we could notice full green berries in the middle of the bunches that were already completely red.
Despite everything, the Merlot grapes resisted well, the Cabernet Francs with their rather small berries suffered a delay in their phenolic ripening, but they defended themselves well at the end to finally obtain fatness and silkiness.
During this vintage, it is important not to forget that biodynamic treatments of compost manure, horn dung, silica, horsetail, nettle, valerian, and willow played a major role in accompanying the development of the vegetation and stimulating natural resistance to the climate (frost, drought, etc.).
Herbal teas have played a stimulating role for the foliage, enabling us to limit the use of sulphite, which are likely to burn the foliage under the effect of high temperatures.
Thanks to this laborious and vigilant work, the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, so we reached a very good level of maturity in each plot.
The only concern is that due to the very dry weather, the yields are quite low with an average of 23HL/Ha, but the quality is there.
Dates of white wines harvests
10/09/19: Harvesting of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes in the rain (6 mm) and at 5am to keep a nice aromatic freshness.
11/09/19: Harvesting of Sémillon, which is always done in the early morning around 5 am. Around 9 am we picked the Cabernet Sauvignon and part of the Merlot for the blending of our rosé.
12/09/19: At 8 am hand-picking of the Sémillon grapes from the oldest plots of the estate dating from 1953. Followed by the pressing of the entire clusters in order to give complexity.
13/09/19: Harvesting of the Muscadelle with a plot of Sémillon always in the early morning to keep freshness and avoid oxidation!
16/10/19: Hand-picking of the Saussignac, complicated this year with this type of weather, we will do one sorting only but of a very good quality.
Dates of red wines harvests
23/09/19: Harvesting of Merlot at 5am.
24/09/19: Further harvesting of Merlot in the rain (13 mm). The rain was welcome, it allowed us to lower the degrees and to increase the volume. Next, harvesting of Malbec at 10 am, still in the rain.
Suivis des vendanges du Malbec à 10h du matin, toujours sous la pluie.
03/10/19: Hand-picking of the Cabernet Francs for our great wine from 8 am.
04/10/19: Harvesting of the rest of the Cabernet Francs in the rain (10 mm).
From a general point of view, the harvest was very healthy and of a beautiful maturity.
After several months of work and vinification, we are satisfied with the quality of the berries, the brightness of the fruit, the colour and the density, suggest a good vintage.
The Cabernet Francs 2019 had the privilege of being worked for the first time in brand new barrels. An extraction phase of 20 to 24 days revealed silky and elegant tannins. The “pigeage” (treading), a very old technique, allowed the cap of the marc to be broken off, giving a beautiful colour. Finally, on the aromatic level, the barrels brought an intense and slightly toasted fruitiness.
Thanks to new vinification techniques, we would even say that 2019 will be better than 2018.
Indeed, the 2018 vintage was complicated in spring with a mild and humid climate synonymous with mildew pressure, but which then changed radically to give way to a scorching summer and an equally hot after-season.
The wines of this vintage are mature with notes of black fruits, liquorice and spices, but above all they have a rich tannic structure delicately coated with lovely chalky tannins.
The 2019 vintage proved easier to tame in spring, the summer was just as hot with a record temperature of 42°C on July 25th, but that’s without counting on the oceanic character of the region, the mildness came back in September thanks to salvaging weather storms and which allowed us to harvest grapes in a temperate climate.
The wines of the 2019 vintage are deliciously perfumed, with notes of red fruits and peony, they are fine, elegant with a more stretched profile and fresh finishes.