2018

2018: “Magnifique!”

In 2018 winter and springtime were rather mild, with enough rainfall to recharge groundwater which was rather low after 2017. Unlike the two previous vintages there was no Spring frost which, from a financial point of view, was quite a relief. Later on, from late May to early July, we had close to tropical weather. We had to treat repeatedly to prevent downy mildew, but unfortunately the disease destroyed a large proportion of bunches before véraison Blooming was early again, as in 2017, and budbreak was rather promising. From then on, the summer was warm and dry with only 40mm rainfall between 20 July and mid-September. The vines nourished the grapes throughout the summer despite a mild dry spell, particularly on alluvial deposits. We had another very early harvest: the Chenins were picked as early as 12 September and the Cabernets around 18 September. Sugar levels were exceptionally high between 13 and 14.5 % by volume tartaric acid levels were also high. The 2018s are complete and expressive throughout the range, with magnificent balance i, the richness in alcohol is contained by the wines’ freshness and a savoury lingering. The volumes produced will also give many vignerons some breathing space after the frosts of 2016 and 2017. However, one thing is clear: the last 30 years (1988 -2018), have seen temperatures rise by 1°C between March and September, and grapes have gained 3% alcoholic content while acidity dropped by 4g/L (H2SO4). Global warming is undeniable, grape harvest takes place earlier (1 to 2 weeks), and we regularly make wines with over 13% alcohol. This still has a good side, and favours the expression of Cabernets Francs but may be cause for concern for the future and for our planet…