One single cold and lethal night was enough to kill a great amount of buds in the vines on April 27th, 2016. Frost was intense (-4 degrees C, 24 F) in the valley and on the lower slopes, the damage was up to 50% of the expected crop. If anti-frost devices (mainly anti-frost towers which generate warm air and can protect a surface of about 3 Ha) had not been used, the loss would have been way higher.
We’ve had to think hard about investing more money into anti-frost measures at our estate, but also as a collective of winemakers, since we need to do everything that can be done to protect our vines.
The growing season had thus started in the worst possible way, and many of our fellow winemakers were in very precarious situations. Spring did not help, with heavy amounts of rain resulting in an explosion of mildew that lasted until the beginning of July.
Later, the summer really took over, with very little rain (only 15 mm, or 0.51 fl. oz.) in July and August and a lot of sun. The grapes grew under excellent conditions, and were very healthy. September was a perfect month, with welcomed rain in the middle of the month helping the vines and bunches to finish the ripening. We started harvesting on October 10th under wonderful conditions.
2016 ends up being a surprising vintage, with amazing quality in the wines, thanks to a beautiful late growing season. The wines are appealing, with primary aromas of raspberry, red fruit and spices. All our cuvées have a ripe character, but also show astonishing freshness and fruitiness: they remind us of beautiful 2002 vintage.
Alas, the crop was low overall, and most cuvées are available in very reduced quantity.