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2011 - Vigilance & presence: watchwords for quality in the 2011 vintage

Contrasting, uneven, complicated... such is the list of adjectives used to describe the 2011 vintage. The weather during the grapes’ ripening period and during the harvest gave our oenologists a difficult task. Sylvain explains why 2011 was an “exceptional” year...

Sylvain Jean, oenologist at Louis Bernard, November 2011: “2011 was an unusual year due to the very capricious weather. After a superb spring, with no cold spells or violent rain, we had a fine flowering, with lots of clusters per vine. At that point, we thought the harvest would be early. But then ripening was delayed by a rainy July. Given the weather conditions, we decided to carry out a copper treatment in August. Previous work in the vineyard and this last intervention enabled us to obtain grapes of excellent quality. The warm weather finally returned late in the season. This year, one had to be very present in the vineyards to be sure of harvesting good, healthy grapes. The green harvests were essential. We applied stringent sorting, so as not to overburden the vines.

Throughout the harvest period, I visit all the wine producers who I have been working with during the year. Depending on what they want, I oversee the monitoring of the grapes' ripeness and the vinifications, and we discuss techniques, in accordance with their objectives... while at the same time ensuring that our specifications are respected. Together, we make the wines and I preselect the blends. 2011 was very much a “wine-maker's year”! Presence in the vineyards and careful monitoring of every plot were essential.

With an average yield of 25 hl/ha, our Gigondas promise to be powerful and smooth, with plenty of body and dark colours.

The Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-RhôneVillages will be voluptuous, fruity and delicious. And ready to drink relatively quickly.”