“We have enjoyed wonderful weather for over a fortnight,” reports Patrick Jestin. “Constant sunshine, just enough wind from the north and north-east to moderate summer temperatures. Nights remained cool. All these favourable factors have created perfect harvesting conditions for our white grapes, while ensuring the reds continue to ripen well.”
Completing the white grape harvest in ideal weather conditions
The white harvest began at Dourthe’s Chateau la Garde in Pessac-Leognan on 5 September starting with Sauvignon Blanc ( which finished yesterday 15 September) and finishing today (16 September) with the Semillon grapes which were introduced at the estate in 2010.
Harvesting continues at Chateau Rahoul, in the Graves, where Semillon is being harvested alongside the Sauvignon grapes. The remaining Semillon grapes will be harvested this week.
Tasting the first musts confirms initial findings by Frederic Bonnaffous’s, Head Winemaker at Vignobles Dourthe.
“The juice is very aromatic, maybe even more so than in 2013,” suggests Bonnaffous. “ The Sauvignon Blanc in particular has wonderful freshness. Fermentation is already underway for the first batch which has been in barrel since 11 September. Like before, we are limiting the proportion of oak barrels to 15% to enhance greater terroir expression in the final wine.”
Rapidly evolving ripeness in the reds, perfect, healthy conditions in the vineyards; will Nature remain on the side of the grower ?
Preliminary checks on the ripening progress of the red grapes since 5 September reveal that sugar levels are rapidly becoming more concentrated.
Bonnaffous continues “The grapes are very healthy. The berries are already showing good levels of colour (anthocyanins). They taste very fruity and sweet. Harvesting the first Merlot grapes should take place around 22-27 September.”
“Let’s hope these favourable conditions continue so we can bring in the red grapes as calmly as the whites” concludes Jestin
To be continued…