The red grape harvest began on Monday, 14 September 2020 at Château de La Dauphine. We started with the Merlot and finished with the Cabernet Franc at the end of the month on our 53-hectare vineyard that has Organic Agriculture (AB) certification and is managed using biodynamic methods.
2020 was a vintage of contrasts in the Bordeaux region, as David Pernet, our SOVIVINSconsultant, explains:
“The year began with a historically rainy winter followed by an almost tropical spring. These conditions meant that protection of the vines against mildew and soil management became a major challenge, that was further complicated by the lockdown. The first miracle occurred in mid-May with dry, warm conditions during a very early flowering, two weeks ahead of an average year. The second occurred on 19 June when the rainy weather abruptly changed to dry, cool conditions that continued until the véraison (when the grapes change colour) in mid-July. . It was at this point that the summer really arrived, with very dry weather and high temperatures through to mid-August when some welcome storms enabled the vines to breathe and the Merlot grapes to swell in size. The later-ripening Cabernets stayed the size of blueberries until the harvest and the Merlot lost most of what they had absorbed in late August during the first two weeks of September.
The end result was a vintage harvested about ten days earlier than usual, mostly in sunny weather for the Merlot and then thundery showers for the early Cabernet. . Both the Merlot and Cabernet are extremely tannic and richly coloured, with very little acidity and alcohol contents that are generally not excessive. 2020 is a sunny vintage that benefited from favourable conditions, and which should not be harvested early, otherwise the wines are likely to be a little austere in their youth. . Generally speaking, this should be a superb vintage, with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity.”