Beaucastel 2016
An Exceptional

    The month of May began under bright sunshine with high temperatures above 25°C for 14 days without a drop of rain. The second half was marked by a strong wind (60 to 90 km / h), causing the surface of the soil to dry out. The vines continue their growth in exceptional conditions, close to perfection. Flowering takes place under the best auspices: Viognier and Grenache Blanc from 6 to 8 May, Syrah from 10 to 13 May, black Grenache from 18 to 20 May, and finally Mourvèdre from May 20 to 23. In early June, the weather is still hot and dry. In one month, the vine has grown rapidly and the phenological stages are accelerated. We are relaxed, the vineyard is very healthy, and has only required two protective treatments in small doses since the beginning of the year. Providential rain on 10 and 13 June are timely to attenuate the heat. Between 60mm and 100 mm depending on the area allow the vineyard to replenish its water reserves.

    The heat continues with an exceptional month of July, the warmest in 50 years. The vine starts to droop, but resists. Veraison starts rapidly for the white varieties and Syrah. The Grenache spreads over several weeks as dry soils are slower. We forecast an earlier harvest than the previous year. On August 13, our vineyard enjoys a long awaited rainfall of 30mm allowing the vegetation to avoid stop-ping the maturity. The temperature amplitudes stimulate the synthesis of polyphenols, predicting an excep-tional vintage. The skins of the red grapes are thick, maturation must continue. The whites taste good, and start being very aromatic.

    Ideal climatic conditions for harvest at the beginning of September with sunny days, cool nights, and an few days of strong Mistral, allowing to maintain exceptional health for the grapes. Maturation of Roussanne and white Grenache continues serenely. We are however vigilant at the low acidities due to the hot summer, but the berries already have beautiful aromas. The harvest, which will last 4 weeks, begins on September 7th with Roussanne from Châteauneuf du Pape. We continue with Syrah from Cairanne. Grenache matures very slowly and therefore retains superb aromatic freshness and a big concentration of polyphenols in the skins. The first Grenache grapes are harvested on September 15th for Cairanne and Vinsobres. A rainy episode mid-September forces us to postpone the harvest of Grenache by a week in Châteauneuf du Pape. We start Grenache on the 24th in Gigondas and 25th in Châteauneuf. The harvest ends October 5th with Mourvèdre, which is exceptional this year.

    2015 thus ends as it began, in ideal conditions for the vineyards and very healthy grapes at full maturity. The wines promise to be big and exceptional.