2015 pre-harvest vintage comments

Many importers have expressed concern regarding the 2015 vintage- and the biggest concern is will it be another 2003.


2015 is a very promissing vintage so far and here is why the style of vintage is likely to be better, very different from 2003 and 2005 with more harmony.


  1. Before the heat and the drought of mid July, water tables underground, were the highest in many years. Therefore, old vines and soil that has been ploughed in younger vines means they had access to water for below the surface soil. This is one reason this might not be like 2005.


  1. 2003 versus 2015 : 2003 was a true heat wave vintage. Many days were 104°F (40°C) to 45°C = 113°F. The highest temperatures of 2015 were 36°-38°C = 92°F to 96°F. But the big difference is that 2015 had cool nights of 64°-68°F (18°-20°C)


  1. French meteorologists say that 2003 was the hottest July on record, followed by 2006 and then followed by 2015.


  1. At the end of August 2005 vines never got the rain that was needed. In theory, for vintage 2015 the necessary rain arrived early August.


  1. Rain finally arrived in the first 2 weeks of August, and saved the following :


  1. Quality of leaves, to get more photosynthes = riper grapes, softer skins, more sugar, highler yiels. Without the rains, the grapes could not have reached full ripeness for the skins, and the stems and seeds.


  1. Amounts of rain were very different, region to region, and sometimes village to village. Quantities of rain over 2 miles varied from 3 inches to 2 or 1 inch of rain.


  1. Another advantage of the rain is that it makes tha harvest date earlier. Early harvest = better chances of warm and good weather(do not forget the weather during harvest, frequently determines the quality) AND, longer days of sunlight.


This year is not a problem year for sugar in the grapes, or alchohol levels. The problem, especially for the reds, is how fast will the water in the soil soften and ripen the skins. The verdict will be out en of August. And we will be in the vineyards August 26-28 to taste the grapes


According to predictions, the heat wave is finished. Over ! The last 4 days have been cool and the rains will not provoke rot but ripen the grapes and the skins. Cool nights 48°F TO 54°F good for preserving fruit + non hot vintage expressions. Hights of the day 68°F TO 78°F . No bad signs of weather threatens the vines for 10 days. Beginning week August 19 in some regions temperatures will rise to 70°-78°F Thursday and Friday, most regions will be 86°, then a cooler + slight rain weekend. The more good weather next week.

The cool and sunny end of August and 1st 2 weeks of september could turn the vintage into a medium cool styled vintage. Juest as 2009 started as a cool vintage and turned into a warm styled vintage. The weather just before and during the harvest frequently determines the personality of the vinage.

We will be in the vineyards before, during and after harvest and will keep you posted on our take on the vintage.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Julia Sussner says:

    Yay! I love it when you post! You’re so knowledgeable!

    I’m looking on my phone and it looks like the numbering stops at 5 and has a few 1s- is that intended?

    Love you!

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