A year that reminds us how intrinsically linked viticulture is to nature!
A historically low yield due to a cold and wet spring. The flowers were similarly affected in June (during Vinexpo), coulure et millerandage???, especially on our old Merlots. Fortuitously, the chateau escaped the ravaging storms and frosts that cost the region greatly. The rather warm summer slightly compensated for these drawbacks and allowed the grapes to gain concentration and aroma. Warm and humid conditions in September, followed by a dry period from the 23/09, meant we were able to wait until the 07/10 to start harvesting the merlots; the cabernets wait until the 17/10/13, a late harvest indeed! The result was a degree level reminiscent of the 1970s-1980s between 12°5 and 12°9 for the merlots, which is very good, and the cabernets around 12°, which we performed chaptalisation on to increase the alcohol content by 0.5° in order to ameliorate the final taste of the wine (the departmental limit was of 1.5%/alc).
Good sanitary state, no mould. Some colour, a little more acidity, less maceration, was the recommendation by oenologists from Michel Rolland’s laboratory. Faster alcoholic fermentations, more rapidly undertaken vinification and more easily carried out than in warmer years with musts full of sugar, aiming to respect the fruit, with less extraction.
A small yield does not rhyme with bad vintage, far from it. Modern techniques lead to a desirable, supple, well done, lighter wine, to enjoy young – within the first 5 years.
I decided to carry out a harvest of up to 50% for the final count for the first wine, bottled at the chateau, in order to deliver the quality that you recognise.
The final assemblage came to 80% merlot, 10% cabernet franc and 10% cabernet sauvignon.
Elaborate vintage that endured many challenges through bravery and savoir-faire, which is a tribute to what we are capable of achieving at Chateau Montaiguillon, no matter what Mother Nature has to say!
Gaston Théberge said in May 2016:
“Small dark fruits with mineral hints, smooth and silky taste on fine tannins that extend to a full, tender, rich and fresh pulp. A great success in a hard year, which we shall drink at once with lamb and poultry. Bravo!”