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Patience & Vigilance, the keys to success for an out-of-the ordinary 2013 Vintage.

A little patience and a great deal of vigilance: this is what our teams needed to ensure that the vineyards remained healthy, that our grapes ripened as they should and that the different varieties were picked at the right time. 


The cold wet spring gave rise to a long, late flowering and the vines developed at very different speeds. The ripening process was accelerated by the hot summer and September’s frequent storms, but, even so, we were unable to catch up completely on lost time. The grape-harvest was one of the latest in history. 

The white grape varieties have highly developed aroma profiles: pear and kiwi for Grenache; spicy for Roussane, apricot for the Viogniers from the early ripening sectors and honey from later-maturing areas. For the Bourboulenc, this year’s vintage is particularly fragrant and round on the palate and, for the very first time, vinification took place in casks.

The Côtes du Rhône rosés have a very pale, delicate colour with small, dark-berry aromas (blackcurrant and pomegranate). 

As far as the red varieties are concerned, 2013 is globally a modest-sized year, all AOPs included, except for the Costières de Nimes. Wherever we were able to let the Grenache achieve advanced ripeness, which was the case amongst some of our partners at Châteauneuf du Pape, we  obtained some extremely high quality and highly concentrated wines, which fill the palate and leave a velvety sensation. The Syrah varieties are fresh with hints of spice and ripe black fruit, whilst the Mourvèdres are distinctly tobacco, truffle and chocolate.

In northern parts of the Rhône Valley, wines are characterized by their remarkable finesse and a great deal of elegance.  

Sylvain Jean, Louis Bernard's winemaker confirms: " It’s a vintage where Mother Nature was hard on us, but where – and this is often the case – the quality came from the vineyards themselves." 

“Yes, it is most certainly an unusual vintage in terms of ripening and the rhythm at which the grapes were picked. If I had to qualify it in just a few words, I would say that we needed a great deal of patience and had to be extremely vigilant, but in the end everything turned out very well. Despite the difficult conditions, all the work we did in the vineyards and the cellars has born its fruit with some very fine wines in our vats. At this point in the wine-making process, we are counting on a fine, very aromatic vintage, fresh and lively with subtle tannins.” December 2013