Frédéric Engerer - Château Latour
and phenological conditions at
Pauillac - Vintage
harvest started on September 23 with the
five days. Then we picked the first
Sauvignon from October 6. Recent controls of maturity, carried out at
the beginning of the week, confirmed the potential of this
and the excellent
balance of the grapes in
sugar, acid and phenolic elements. Consequently, the average
degree for the Merlots is of 13.5°, which was unexpected three weeks ago.
Once again, nature was very “moody” this
vintage year at
Chateau Latour. After a rather warm and dry winter, there was a
lack of rain right at the beginning of the vegetative cycle, and expression
of hydric stress was noticed on nearly all of the areas of the estate.
Fortunately, the rainfall was brought back to a normal level in May, which
enabled the vine to develop fully, setting off the flowering, which took
place in exceptional weather conditions: heat, clear weather with light
Within a week, all of the bunches had completed this important
stage, which determines a good
harvest and great consistency of ripening at
Chateau Latour. By counting the bunches on all the plots of the
estate, we were able to rapidly estimate that the
yield would be of a good level (similar to that of 2000). Drought
came back in June, depriving the
vineyard from 50mm of water, the average of the last thirty
years. As a result, the berries at
began to grow slowly. The first ten days of July were rainy, but
was followed by warm and sunny weather until the end of the month. This warm
and dry climate allowed the “veraison” to begin from July 20, and we
harvest date for the region.
August was, at
much more inconsistent, when the sun often gave way to the rain.
In fact, the quantity of rainfall which slowed down the ripening process is
not of real importance as the vine had suffered since the beginning of its
cycle; but it was more a question of the number of days without sun. Cool
temperatures for the season, at
made the “veraison” longer, especially on the sandy plots.
Almost miraculously, at
the weather which failed to appear in August arrived from the
beginning of September. Beautiful cloudless days with some easterly wind,
perfect for the ripening of the grapes, rapidly favoured the production of
sugar in the berries. The range of temperatures in the day and in
the night, at
also softened the grape skins and offered great flavour to the tannins.
As usual, at
the difference in maturity between the
Sauvignons was important this year. However, our aim is
harvest the first when it has reached its peak in fruitiness
and to preserve all its
freshness. The seeds are tasty and dense with a fine
structure. The first tastings of the
lead us to believe that a good potential is on its way. However,
we are patient a
is very promising.
Frédéric Engerer at