Good yields of concentrated ripe fruity wine with good structure. Those that did not suffer from too much loss from the Mildew which was prevalent in the wet spring, have nothing to complain about in 2018. Piles of purple crumbly skins are starting to appear outside the ‘chai’ of the region. There are smiles as producers ‘décuve’ removing the skins from the vats (écoulage) after a relatively long maceration on the skins and press, squeezing every drop of the precious wine.
Alcohol levels are relatively high this year with the long warm growing season and so fermentations were around 10 days, enough time for the busy yeasts to turn all of the sugary ripeness into alcohol (red wines have less than 2g of sugar once fully fermented). Skins were gently left to macerate for 5 to 6 weeks to extract colour, tannins and fruit flavours and aromas.
The summer was very warm but cool nights towards the end helped to preserve aromas and complexity. it looks like an excellent year; not the power of 2015 or 2016 but close behind – more a little sister to the 2016 – with it’s aromatic complexity. Very healthy grapes so harvest was easy this year.