The season got off to a bad start: a hard frost later than any previously recorded in this district. I remember waking up on the morning of November the 27th and looking out of the window and thinking: “What’s all that pollen doing on the ground?” As the day warmed up, Hope, that treacherous counsellor, whispered: “Maybe we got away with it,” but by the next day it was obvious we hadn’t. In the lowermost parts of the vineyard where the cold air pools, the loss was almost total. Elsewhere the damage was more patchy, and in the highest areas the grapes ripened normally.
The resulting crop, which we picked in mid-March, was only three tonnes. But thanks to the warm, dry summer, disease pressure had been minimal. The condition of the grapes we had was excellent, though the vines that had lost their primary fruit tried to make up by putting out a lot of beautiful-looking but under-ripe secondary bunches which the pickers found hard to resist.
Once the fruit was crushed, the sugar content of 13.9 degrees Baume, pH 3.46 and titratable acidity of 7.5 grams / litre were highly satisfactory, and after a textbook ferment the wine is maturing in 50% new oak. I tasted it last week and I am very pleased. It would be nice if there was more of it.