A calendar year is no benchmark for wine-growing, as everything starts again after grape picking. Winter 2016 began with a summery spell in mid-December followed by a record rainfall of over 400 millimetres, up to February. A cold month of March allayed concern for early budburst: no frost, though!
A delightful month of May gave way to a rainy period, bringing a procession of fungus in its wake. Flowering was no festival this year, but managed to get by, auguring well for the vintage. Summer was fine and bright, without excess: ripening got off to a fast, sound start and the soils of Hanteillan slowly attained ideal water stress.
The nocturnal coolness of the Atlantic coast alternated with warm, sunny days, tannic patterns were firmly stated, and the identity characteristics of our soils were affirmed.
From the vine to the glass
Grapes were vatted as plots matured. We could afford the luxury of half-day harvesting, while maybe squeezing in an extra day of maturity, which really makes the subtle difference between good wine and great wine.
We are emotion transmitters, not cooks: grapes were sublime, fermentation unrolled along with work on the cap, releasing colour, aroma and tannins, day after day.
As for maturing, our point has been proven at Hanteillan, where we have developed mastery in the use of barrels.
Ideas only, no hard-set convictions, just unfailing will: wood serving wine.
So, let’s taste?
“Good fresh colour, clean and fresh fruit on the palate, some fragrance and polish, quite open and easy, to 2022.”
Steven Spurrier’s Tasting Note, Wine Critic.
“With colour somewhere between ruby and garnet, this 2016 remains a little shy in its aromatic expression, but is very pleasant thanks to supple, full matter supporting well-balanced tannins. Cellar potential: 2021-2024.”
Guide Hachette 2020