To be continued...
How is going 2022?
Il started badly!
It started badly! A strong frost episode on the nights of April 2nd to 4th with temperatures going down to -9°C (never seen since 1947) and most of the French vineyards were affected. But most of our buds had not yet opened and the losses suffered were «reasonable». Then, the sunny character of the campaign started in May with an early flowering on the 16th, fast and homogeneous. Heat waves followed one another in mid-June, early July and early August, impacting the good development of the vines; but the rains at the end of June and mid-August mitigated their effects, except for the unlucky ones for whom hail totally destroyed some plots and buildings. Finally, the cool mornings and warm afternoons of September allowed the grapes to ripen slowly but surely, waiting to be picked. Concerning rainfall, its volume is clearly down over the year, -32% compared to the average, and a record in May with -76%. Only the month of June with +60% has slightly mitigated the impact without restoring the balance.
The choices that have been made over the last few years regarding the work of our vines, such as natural grassing, no ploughing, braiding instead of trimming, shearing of the sheep and their fertilization, have allowed our vines to better protect themselves from hydric stress: a magnificent foliage until the harvest! However, the early heat and the hydric stress generated small berries.
The harvested grapes had a beautiful phenolic potential, a particularly high tannin/anthocyanin ratio and a very good ripeness in the seeds, «crunchy with roasted hazelnut flavors»; but the degrees are high, probably around 13.5°. During the alcoholic fermentations, the extraction of color and aromas was rapid, requiring less manipulation, and the fermentation temperatures remained reasonable, producing rich wines with beautiful tannins and colors. On tasting, the 2022 Hourtin-Ducasse reminds us of the silkiness of a 2009 and the fruit/freshness of a 2010.
Harvest: September, 20 to 28
Blending: Cabernet-Sauvignon 47%, Merlot, Cabernet franc 44%, Petit Verdot 3%
Vinification and aging: alcoholic fermentation partly in barrels (54% of the harvest), malolactic fermentation in barrels (100%). Aging in barrels (100%)
Alc. by vol.: coming
Tasting on barrels:
(February 14, 2023, leaf day - Marc Quertinier, oenologist)
Fruity nose (rather black fruits), spicy.
Good grain in the mouth, fleshy. The finish is a bit dry, to follow...
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