The Sauvignon Blanc took full advantage of the 2010 summer weather: the ripening process was more even and the harvest, which started on September 9, was shorter than last year. Once again, we sought a Pavillon Blanc that would be just as concentrated in flavour but less rich in alcohol than in past vintages. The only way to achieve this was to pick a little earlier and carry out stringent selections of grapes, presses and vats. The quantity this year will therefore be no more than previous years, unfortunately.
2010 is the epitome of great Pavillon Blanc vintages. It’s fine, elegant, and very aromatic, and has wonderful richness and perfect balance on the palate, thanks to higher than average acidity. As well as being a guarantee of the wine’s longevity, this acidity provides lovely freshness, making it attractive already. This Pavillon Blanc 2010 will undoubtedly go down as the model for the future vintages to follow.
Winter was quite cold and dry, causing some delay in the budding. Mixed weather conditions in the spring made the flowering process uneven and caused a little coulure in some of the older Merlot plots. Yet, as always, the great terroirs appear to have set their own agenda and ignored the vagaries of the weather, enjoying a fast and homogenous flowering process with perfect results. Then again, the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is so well suited to these lands, is not very prone to coulure.
From the end of June until the last grapes were harvested in October, we experienced, once again, the type of drought typical of great Bordeaux vintages. Indeed, while on the one hand, the vines were spared any excess of water, thereby preventing unwanted foliage, they benefited from just enough moisture to favour ripening as well as enhance concentration in the grapes.
While the 2010 weather conditions were reminiscent of 2009 and 2005, vintages are never completely alike. The summer of 2010 was as dry as 2009, yet cooler. The absence of extreme heat combined with cool nights compensated for the drought and probably allowed some of the great terroirs’ young plants to reach a new quality threshold. It also favoured the aromatic character in all grape varieties, particularly in Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet and enabled the maintenance of excellent acidity levels – the perfect foil for high levels of alcohol. (The picking began on 22nd September)