The grapes were harvested from September 8th to 18th. While we hurried to bring in part of the berries that were already quite concentrated, we also had to wait a little longer for the rest to reach perfect levels of ripeness. Thanks to the gorgeous weather though, we were comfortably able to do both. 2009 is undoubtedly a very great Pavillon Blanc vintage, but it came at the cost of drastic selection. Only 32% of the crop was chosen for the final blend! The youngest vines together with those plots with lighter soils suffered from the prolonged drought, which only benefited the greater terroirs. The recent run of great vintages has perhaps also made us more demanding and severe.
This uncompromising selection has resulted in a Pavillon Blanc that is both more concentrated than 2008 and fresher than 2007. It is the demonstration of how Sauvignon Blanc can achieve, in privileged terroirs, a perfect balance between power and finesse, richness and delicacy. It is delicious to drink today and should remain so for several more years. (October 2018)
After quite a dry winter, spring was cool and damp; in fact it was so chilly at the beginning of April that we used our anti-frost sprays on April 7th at Virefougasse, our Sauvignon Blanc plot. May was particularly wet, which heightened the risk of downy mildew at a time when the vines were most vulnerable, so that for the second year in a row, we had to carefully monitor the health of the vines. Nevertheless we continued our research on alternative solutions to chemical sprays; the conditions provided us with an ideal opportunity to do so. The flowering began at the very beginning of June, right on the normal date, although it was partly affected by heavy rains, which were no doubt responsible for the coulure and millerandage observed in some of the Merlot plots. Also, the vines showed fewer potential grapes than last year, so we knew that we were in for a smaller crop. The weather was cool throughout the summer, with temperatures around two degrees below average in July, August and September. July, however, was very dry with barely 10 mm (0.4 of an inch) of rain, whereas in August and up till September 15th, it rained regularly. This chilly and humid weather slowed the colour transformation of the grapes and their ripening process while it gradually affected our spirits…