A three month rain drenched freezing spring, vineyards so wet that it was impossible to pass even with a lightweight tractor, a seemingly endless battle against mildew, a mini heatwave with six weeks of normal vine growth in 10 days, one of the biggest hail storm cells in Bordeaux’s history misses by less than 10km….. season 2013 has been interesting! Never think that owning and managing a vineyard is just a walk in the vines!!
Typically in the Bordeaux region, two (usually successive) years in every six are acclaimed as great vintages. I call these the “natural” years as they require less effort and skill in the vineyard to produce great fruit. Thankfully 2010 was one such year when we produced our first ever wine – the beautiful Cabernet Franc Cloud9. But since then, each season has been a “vigneron’s season” requiring a significant effort and progressively increased skill to produce good fruit and wine. No more so than 2012 and similarly this year as well.
But as we start the final 4 to 5 week run in towards the mid October harvest, we remain very positive. Despite the earlier list of climactic challenges, we are very much on track. There is a good quantity of clean healthy fruit. The new organic under vine and soil management programme has been implemented. The feedback from Cardan and recent pictures we have seen, paint a very positive picture. We are already starting to assemble an international team for the harvest, which will once again be the best day on our calendar.
Before we can prepare the winery for the new harvest it is time to bottle the 2012 Cabernet Franc Cloud9 and first ever Cabernet Franc Merlot 50 / 50 blend. The recent tastings from the barrel show that they are perfect now to go into bottle. However they will be maturing in storage for a good while longer yet. And given the very high quality but limited quantity of the 2012, there will be no rush to put the wine into the market.