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VIDEOS ON THE 2016 HARVEST AND ORGANIC FARMING
CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE 2016 : A FABULOUS VINTAGE !
As autumn is drawing to a close and the wine presses have been washed and put away, the first wines tasted before being blended confirm what had been sensed: 2016 is going to be a fabulous vintage! And if some compare it to the magnificent 2010, some others do not hesitate to go as far as the famous star-vintage 1990… Either way, the evidence that we are witnessing the making of a great vintage is clear.
After a rather mild winter and a dry and cool spring, the vineyard had to resist a hot summer –hotter than average with several days exceeding 35°C, including in early September. A hot –albeit not blistering hot summer, characterized as soon as early August, over the Véraison ripening time, by wide temperature variations between day and night, a positive factor that encourages polyphenol synthesis. Summer was also particularly dry; the total rainfall barely reached 70mm, with 17.8mm in July, 8.4mm in August and 44.6mm in September. It was precisely the thin drizzle that fell continuously on 14 and 15 September that allowed the grapes to reach full maturity, without hampering the quality potential of a harvest that can -in all respects- be qualified as exceptional (perfect sanitary state, optimum phenolic ripeness…).
The harvest started on 12 September and spread over 4 weeks. The consequence of this dream weather was that the sorting of the grapes –although mandatory- was made hardly necessary. Even if i only harvested 25 hl/ha, the grapes were very sound with very small berries.
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites are fine and full-bodied. They reveal an optimum ripeness and at the same time, thanks to a naturally low pH, a beautiful freshness. The Grenache grape expresses aromas of white and yellow fruit (peach, pear, quince) and white flowers. The Roussane grape is very expressive and reveals scents of exotic fruit, peach and apricot. Thanks to a beautiful autumn, the Clairette and Bourboulenc grapes, both late varietals, were picked at full ripeness, thus contributing to the final blending by their elegant notes.
The 2016 reds are characterised by very crisp, frank, intense and complex aromas. Depending on where they grew and their “terroir”, the Grenache-based wines give off scents of raspberry, liquorice, garrigue, candied ginger, black fruit and citrus fruit. The blending of the various varietals allowed in the AC gives birth to a magical complexity, the subtle result of the interaction between the inherent characteristics of the grape variety and the influence of the “terroir”. The red wines show dense, dark colours, with very high levels of anthocyanins. In the mouth, the wines are intense, full-bodied, with a beautiful freshness. In a word, they are powerful! The tannins are there, but they are extremely fine and already very silky.
2016 marvellously embodies what can be called an exceptional vintage.
Jean Natoli, our oenologist, has just been distinguished by the RVF (French Wine Review) as one of the 200 personnalities of the world of wine. Bravo ! Moreover, he just edit with Dunod the "Guide pratique du vin bio" . The proof, if needed, of his skill on organic vinifications.
Very positive result of the 4 years of experimentation :
1) constant decrease of the quantity of copper and sulfur used
2) 2009, before the experimentation : 1.25 more than the average ORGANIC farms of Provence, 2013, half of the average.
To see the result
It is always unpleasant, when we bought a good bottle, to have a corky taste. It is also unpleasant, for the wine maker, to work hard all year long for a result spoiled by a cork. The cork is sometimes handled with chlorid products used as a fongicide to eliminate the parasites from the cork. And it is the residues of these products which give the famous " cork taint ". He is called TCA ( trichloroanisoles ) and this is a point which worries me for a long time and I am particularly attentive to it.