Greetings from Néac!
Here, like across most of the planet, our summer has been extremely hot, with some days hitting 42 degrees.
We thankfully managed to avoid the fires that were much further to the south east - our thoughts are with all those whose vines were damaged or grapes marked by smoke taint. Another headache for winemakers...
It’s been one of the hottest summers on record, the soils are parched, and the grapes are almost there already, with many a leaf in the vine canopy already turning brown (like many, we didn’t practise an ‘effeuillage’ whereby vine leaves are stripped off to increase sun exposure).
We were also fortunate to have around 17mm of (much needed!) rain the weekend of the 13/14th August & a few other brief showers since.
As such, we’ll most likely be starting to harvest our first parcels of younger vines this week! Last year, as a comparison, we got going on the 3rd of October. So, early this year, though not quite as early as the earliest ever here at the property, in 2003.
Harvest began on the 3rd September that year, lasting a total of ten days.
Similar to '22, the summer was extremely hot & dry, and again it did rain towards the end of August.
That year, the previous owners & resident winemaker Thierry Garnaud produced wines of excellent quality; thanks in part to the decision to pick early but also of course our terroir.
We believe that again in '22, thanks to it’s high percentage of clay, it will have insulated the roots from the excessive heat, and reduced water evaporation - staying cooler than those on sandier or more gravelly soils.
As such, we thought it would be a good idea to dip into the archives, and offer you a sneak peak of 22, and a chance to taste the wonderful elixir of 2003.
Tasting notes below from Colin Hay, (Bordeaux correspondant The Drinks Business)
"For me the most surprising of these wines. The nose is glorious, and, in a blind tasting, I would imagine myself to be in Pomerol. With super-svelte tannins this is nicely integrated and composed, elegant and stylish, reasonably long on the palate and exceptionally well balanced for an extremely hot and challenging vintage.
The choice to pick early and the protection against hydric stress offered by the argilo-calcaire terroir in combination make for an exceptional wine. Highly recommended; indeed, shockingly good."
Colin Hay (Bordeaux correspondant, The Drinks Business)