Bloom, which occurred under condition of exceptional heat and dryness (reaching 34°C between June 15th–18th), placed this vintage under the best auspices, in spite of being almost one week later than in 1995. An especially wet and cool August (on average 2°C cooler than the average for this season), delayed maturation, thus jeopardising hopes for fully ripe and healthy grapes at the time of the harvest.
The end of August and beginning of September were encouraging, with the arrival of cool and dry weather. Vines growing on the best terroir, well-drained and giving low yields, could be harvested under optimum conditions. The Cabernets, in particular, benefited the most from the slow ripening period.
The harvest was from September 26th to October 15th and the grapes were able to capture all the vintage’s potential. Right from the beginning the wines were very dark, supple, fat with fine and powerful tannins. They showed their seductiveness early on, by the purity of their fruit, their elegance, their great freshness and a very lovely balance.