Winter was more marked than in previous years.
Spring was warm and came early, leaving us no time to relax between training the vines and thinning the buds.
However, the weather was almost too mild, and the warmth too early, because in late April, just as the buds had all burst, the weather turned. On the mornings when we’d wake to temperatures below zero, we were anxious and worried…
In the past, our appellation and domaine haven’t been threatened by frost, so we don’t have the means to combat it.
But we couldn’t just stand by and do nothing, so we tried to think up ways to raise early morning temperatures by fractions of degrees.
For this reason, several mornings we turned our vineyard slopes into a stage
for a strange, almost surreal spectacle: flaming bales of hay visible from one slope to the next; smoke carried by the prevailing wind; the coming and going of different vehicles; helicopters circling above the vines at low altitude to keep the air moving.
We even held a procession through the streets of Morogues to implore the protection
of the town’s patron saint, Saint Paul.
Everyone rallied together and worked hard, because at the back of everyone’s minds was the memory of the terrible night in April 2016 and the destruction it wrought.
Then suddenly calm fell.
To our surprise and amazement, our vines were unscathed. Only the wine growers
were the worse for wear! The lack of humidity helped save our crop from frost this year.
Last year we were bemoaning the fact that our new winery was under-employed,
but this year we were able to use it to its full capacity.
It is now being used to age the new vintage – one that’s typical of the Loire region:
full of freshness and showing perfect aromatic maturity.
Meanwhile, the terroir moves slowly towards winter and we just have to be patient.
Some comments on the 2016 vintage – or should we call it the “phantom vintage” because, although we talk about it often, no one has actually seen it! It will soon be ready for release, but we expect it to go in a flash.
It has good power and most certainly has ageing potential.
Tuck it away in the cellar for now and enjoy it later.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and all our best for 2018