2005 is a great vintage of Pavillon Blanc. It has the richness but also the finesse and the aromatic complexity; and especially the sap, vivacity and freshness. It is really hard to believe that in such a vintage this wine only comes from Sauvignon.
The colder than average winter delayed the bud-break by a week compared with the usual dates. Then, a hot, sunny spring brought about even vegetation growth and led to a quick flowering as from the first days of June on exactly the same dates as the previous year. Thanks to excellent weather conditions, the setting was perfect, but the crop potential turned out to be lower than in 2004, displaying significantly fewer bunches per vine.
The weather was fine and sunny throughout the whole of the summer, and above all, particularly dry: barely 100 millimetres of rainfall between May 1 and the beginning of the harvest! We had never seen such weather before. Luckily, the hot weather was not extreme. It doesn't bear thinking what such a drought would have done to the 2003 vintage! But the great terroirs (and this is partly why they are great terroirs) have an amazing capacity to smooth out nature's excesses. They seem to react with the same sense of moderation and balance which is the hallmark of the wines they produce. (Picking began on September 20th)