Taking a break for packing my bag for Bordeaux, I thought I would finish this week’s little series of comments from the region with a few words from Sandrine Garbay, the extremely talented winemaker at a litte place in Sauternes that goes by the name of Château d’Yquem.
Me: What can you tell me about the 2016 vintage?
SG: The 2016 vintage is looking very pretty. We had a dry summer, and lots of dry fruit on the vines. The first picking of the harvest accounts for 25% of the crop, and this was mostly passerillage fruit, concentrated by the warm, dry weather.
Me: Did you get botrytis later?
SG: Yes, happily, on 20th September, we had lots of rain. Although it was only in mid-October that the botrytis really got going. The main part of the harvest started after that attack of botrytis, on 18th October. We had second, third and fourth pickings. The fourth picking ran from 28th October through to 4th November. These last grapes were very botrytised, with top quality noble rot.
Me: How about the yields in 2016?
SG: The yields are really good. We had a great flowering, which was really generous. In the end we brought in 21 hl/ha, when a normal harvest would be more like 10 to 12 hl/ha. But not all the passerillage fruit will be used. It is good for giving acidity, but not complexity, so we will only use a little of it.
Me: And you will be making a dry wine this year as well?
SG: Absolutely – we started picking early for this, on 5th September, and finished on November 4th.
Me: Thanks Sandrine.
These early Bordeaux 2016 reports are essentially funded by Winedoctor subscribers, the first purpose of this latest trip to Bordeaux having been to taste 2014s for a report on that vintage. If you find these reports interesting, please consider taking out a subscription to Winedoctor, for just £4.50 per month (or £45 per annum).