Starting on 28 August in the sun and ending on 15 September in fall showers, the 2015 harvests were memorable in many ways, and can be summed up in one word: exceptional. Most winemakers agree, this was the best year in living memory. And this, despite flirting with disaster in the summer. But in a twist of good fortune, nature conjured up some rain which saved the harvest.
This year was notable for two months of heatwave, with peaks of around 40 degrees which left some bunches singed by the fierce sun. But some miraculous rainfall punctuated the season, providing much-needed relief to the hard-pressed vines. As a result, the dried-out grapes were replaced by nice plump bunches, with thick skins due to the searing heat. The dry August was in stark contrast with the damp of 2014. Even insects vanished, wiped out by the drought.
On the eve of the harvest, vines across the region were in great shape, with superb fruit and lots of millerandage, showing very satisfactory natural sugar levels and good balance.
Given the quality of the vintage, we decided to produce a marc, the last time we made this eau de vie from the skins and stalks dating back to 2009, another classic vintage.
The grapes went into the vat at 12° with unprecedented proportions in whole bunches, which allowed for a long period of cold pre-fermentation maceration, producing lovely colors and some very fine aromas.
Ageing took place in ideal conditions, and confirmed the excellence of this vintage. All the malolactic fermentation was completed by the end of July for the whites. This wine, for which the juice was already so promising with a good concentration of sugar and acidity, confirmed their quality, despite at one point concerns that their acidity may have been burnt off by the sun. The reds had very ripe tannins, and were in perfect health, with practically no sorting required; now they are bursting with energy, having also fulfilled their promise.