Harvest is always a very stressful time, mostly of course for the growers whose year’s work is at stake from a multitude of last minute threats ranging from excessive rain or hail to broken tractors. The farmers also have to make a myriad of judgement calls about when and how to manage harvesting over a large area with different grape varieties and expositions. Oh and not to mention 3 weeks of night harvesting from 3am until 10am to avoid the precious grapes oxidising in the late summer sun.
We suffer with them by proxy, because we need to be able to buy enough of the right quality juice to make up all the components of next year’s blend and are always anxious to improve quality every year.
So what’s in store for us this year? As far as we can judge, given the extreme dryness we suffered during late spring and summer, the harvest will be less plenty than we’ve been used to in the last couple of years. Though irrigation is permitted in years of drought not many farmers here have equipped their vineyards and we have seen wells run dry or function poorly. It seems that while quantity’s down, quality’s good and alcohol levels are easily manageable. Last year’s hot summer had produced a lot of more alcoholic wines, which isn’t really what the majority of Provence producers are looking for and we discarded many bins for this reason.
On the upside we have enjoyed a year of very healthy fruit and treatment has been absolutely minimal due to the dry and windy conditions which doesn’t favour most classic vine diseases and pests.
So we are now waiting until the wines have matured a little to judge which ones will be good enough to go into Mirabeau 2016, if last year’s anything to go by we will be selecting from over 100 different bins. Blending is a riveting process and what we really specialise in. We will keep you updated on the selection process around mid November.
In the meantime the 2015 is still drinking beautifully and we are all enjoying some late summer sun, so the Rosé season is happily carrying on and we have every reason to believe that 2016 will be another beautiful year.