The main feature of 2006 was the instability and contrast in the weather conditions, with a very hot July followed by the coolest August since 1986, and eventually ra ather late harvest.
Winter was relatively cold and dry, slightly delaying bud-break.
March received twice its normal rainfall while April was rather dry, then May saw large temperature variations. June was hot and rather dry, with storms that continued during July (67 mm of rain). July was also very hot with ten days over 35°C and some days reaching 37 and 38°C around July 15th.
August was cool and rainy with temperatures 3–4°C below the 30-year average. The southern part of the Medoc received less of this rain.
Bloom, under these conditions, was short and swift, beginning on May 20th, only three days in advance compared to the last ten years (mid-bloom was on May 30). Spring was rather dry until fruit set, the same as in 2004, giving moderately-sized berries with good polyphenols. They then went through normal development, with favorable water stress during the months of June and July which triggered early growth stop by the beginning of August, thus allowing for favorable ripening.
The care given to the vineyard, shoot-thinning, selected leaf-removal, as well as foliage protection against traditional parasites were key in allowing the grapes to attain their maximum maturation while remaining healthy.
The first ten days of September were hot, making up for the delay accrued in August.
Then came passing storms, but not much rain fell in the southern Medoc. The last ten days of September were again hot and dry.
Under these conditions, the grapes could ripen slowly before being picked. The harvest took place during nearly the same dates as in 2005, from September 26th till October 18th. The opportunity to harvest late allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and thoroughly, which is ideal for the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The musts were rich, with excellent balance. The aromas were at first a bit reticent. The wine is now remarkable, rather dark, with elegant and complex aromas. On the palate, the attack is quite full-bodied, but sharp and fresh at the same time. The development is intense and the Cabernet brings a long complexity to the end of the palate, with very ripe and noble tannins, exquisitely supple and delicious.
Château Boyd-Cantenac 2006 is composed of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot et 7% Petit Verdot.