The 2023 vintage proved to be a story of contrasts, alternating between scarcity and the promise of a regeneration, revealing the extent of challenges awaiting agriculture as a whole.
It started with the second consecutive year of persistent winter drought, casting a worrisome shadow on our harvest’s prospects. The first four months witnessed a significant rainfall deficit, exacerbating concerns about soil water reserves. The intense level of Mistral winds in April amplified concerns by further drying out the already parched lands. At this point we started to worry about the vines’ health.
The month of May brought temporary relief in the form of long-awaited, albeit sporadic, rains. However, this respite was accompanied by hailstorms, damaging the leaves and creating an environment conducive to fungi. Downy mildew, in particular, flourished, foreshadowing significant repercussions on yields, especially for the young vines. Our team fought, sometimes day and night, to save the harvest, and I particularly want to thank our drivers and our young program manager Montaine for never giving up.
The summer unfolded relatively moderately, blessing us with cool nights, though not without a twist — a heatwave swept through in the second half of August. Fortunately, it was tempered by the sea breezes in the Costières de Nîmes region. The temperate summer coupled with the rejuvenated soil water reserves, enabled the vines to resist gracefully and bring their grapes to perfect maturity.
The harvest, anticipated with some apprehension, began with the inaugural picking of Viognier on August 23rd (a week later than in 2022). Subsequently, two intense weeks of harvesting ensued, in which the bulk of our whites and rosés were picked. The healthy condition of the grapes was accompanied by an admirable sugar/acid equilibrium reminiscent of the favorable conditions observed in 2021. Alcohol levels came in at a reasonable range of 12 to 13.5%. The wines exude a vibrant freshness, and their profiles resonated with a lively dynamism, aligning perfectly with our preferences.
For the reds, a ten-day break was instituted to encourage optimal maturation of the tannins and allow the double shift working cellar team to catch a breath. The cool summer nights had a crucial influence on their rich color and the development of refined tannins. The reds offer a complex and nuanced sensory palette and have the prospects of aging very well.
Thus, the 2023 vintage, despite its difficult beginnings, emerged as a viticultural tale where the staunch commitment of our talented and passionate team permitted us to overcome the whims of a nature that is disrupted by climate change. The resulting wines, though having endured the havoc of this year’s elements, embody a promise of character and authenticity, faithfully reflecting the tumult of this memorable year.
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