Nicolas Joly, 2018 Update

As usual I have endeavoured to taste the latest releases from father-and-daughter team Nicolas and Virginie Joly of Château de la Roche aux Moines, surely best known for their tenure of the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant. The three wines tasted represented the entire 2016 portfolio. This was not an easy vintage chez Joly, the main difficulty being the persistent rain that dogged much of the Loire Valley (and Bordeaux, and probably other regions too) through the first half of the year. Rain during flowering caused problems with coulure, and later there was mildew, both of which can impact on potential yield. It was only at the end of June that the rain finally gave way to more desirable weather.

Clos de la Coulée de Serrant

When the sun came out in July it was greeted with open arms by all of the region’s vignerons, and perhaps enjoying this warm welcome this better weather decided it would hang around a while. Indeed, the skies remained clear and sunny for the remainder of the growing season, right through to the picking which here began at the end of September. There was fine weather throughout the harvest, and despite the earlier difficulties with the vintage, the overall yield was 50 hl/ha (much better than it was in the subsequent vintage, when they were hit by frost, but more on that some other time).

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