So much water! This was the year when everything changed: in a flash, we went from London spring to Sevillian summer! Winter was cold with intense frosts and well-provisioned water reserves. From December to March, around 500 millimetres of rain fell, when on average, the Médoc receives 800 millimetres in the whole year. Soils warmed slowly, as did budburst. May and June: hellish conditions with rain and mildew. Part of the harvest was destroyed before flowering, and it was only thanks to flawless protection, a hint of intuition and a pinch of luck, that we reached July with a healthy vineyard! It was worth it, because the coin flipped at this point: sunshine and heat, until the end of October. A miracle took place… what a vintage! The conditions for maturing in the sunshine were perfect for Hanteillan limestone. The Cabernet vines also enjoyed the warmer climes, and the Merlot had already had their fill. Aromaticity, concentration, we had it all, almost as if Bacchus felt the need to apologise for the bad start to the year. The versatile nature of the terroir can prove confusing.
The evening dress is dark red, serious. A black fruit cocktail, like rain on warm earth. The palate is voluptuous, fleshy, deep (hands out of pockets, please) and a little bloody. Wood is present from the start, but dominated by fruit and lamb’s lettuce, it finally brings vanilla to this high-flying balance.
From the vine to the glass
We harvested slowly, and vatting was guided by freshness and aroma. Plots of land that in the past had struggled with quality, qualified to join the Hanteillan club! Exceptional wine potential required some taming during vinification: pumping over was reduced and extraction diffused spontaneously. Sugar content was high but balanced by concentration of the must. Maceration was shorter than usual… and the wine was full, sublime and immediate. Maturing must always be tailored, enabling it to reveal and enhance… and no more. We decided to increase barrel maturing.