We have had frost, we have had hail and now we are having record hot temperatures for all of the summer – et ç’est n’est pas fini! Not had a super vintage ending with a 2 since 1982! Acidity is low but there are plenty of grapes and so far the hot dry conditions have concentrated the juice. There is not a lot of it so far with the lack of rain. Ripening has slowed as the leaves furl in the 38 to 40°C afternoons as the vine tries to avoid further moisture loss.
Photo from the frosty early year at Coutet with Adrien David Beaulieu
We need rain – we are having some light showers but no rain since April. This is the difference between a cabernet sauvignon berry and a Merlot (Château Angludet, Margaux 31st August).
The first ripeness analysis are coming in and here are the St Emilion appellation’s results staight off the press… You see how the Cabernet Franc copes so much better in these hot conditions which we will have more of as global warming changes the climate.
Conseils des Vins de St Emilion from 22 august;
MERLOT: Berry weight continues to change, average is historically low, lower than 2019 and 2010. Sugar accumulation has slowed somewhat, this average is normal for this
Malic acid levels are already very low, which explains the slight deterioration this week. These are values that we usually find in mid-September in Saint-Emilion.
The gravelly soils are to be watched, the low acidities noted during this sampling suggest high pH on wine.
Phenolic ripeness (skins): The first observation is the great heterogeneity of the values which vary from one to two. These results are close to those of 2021 with one week in advance
and 2019 at the same date. The phenolic richness is correct but essentially due to a strong contribution of seeds, the anthocyanin pool is average for the moment. We should note a favorable evolution of the phenolic ripeness in the coming days.
CABERNET FRANC: Ripening level close to the Merlots, the CFs still have more favorable acid balances close to what we usually observe in mid-September. As for the Merlots, the sugar levels are
sugar levels are normal for the season and malic acid levels are abnormally low