2009 experienced, as in 2005 but to a slightly greater degree, sunny and dry summer and autumn conditions. Because of the superb weather in October, our harvest spread over three weeks, from October 2nd to 23rd, which enabled the grapes to reach maximum maturity, profiting from all the benefits accrued during the year.
Climate profile of this vintage
After the cold winter months (1–3°C below the 30-year average), temperatures remained close to the monthly averages all through summer and into October.
2009 will be remembered for its beautiful summer, without excessive heat. Notwithstanding, there were several very hot days, some approaching 35°C, at the end of June and judiciously sprinkled throughout July and August, with large nighttime and daytime temperature variations. This vacillation, as much as 20°C during August and September (when days registered 28–32°C, and nights 11–15°C), continued all summer and on into October. The sunny days, especially at the end of August and the end of October, were exceptional, surpassing even 2005, while drought conditions (where barely 1/3 the normal precipitation fell in August, September, and October!) persisted from August to the end of the harvest.
How this affected grape quality
On our soils, flowering progressed quickly under sunny May and June skies. The véraison took place during the first half of August with favorable meteorological conditions which then continued through the harvest. It was possible to anticipate a harvest near the end of September or the beginning of October with grape quality that would depend on the weather conditions during the last period from September to October. Low nighttime temperatures, persistent dry conditions, and sun throughout August, September and October created ideal conditions for this dream harvest. Vineyards situated on superb terroirs, those encouraging deep root penetration and thus assuring sufficient water absorption, produced exceptionally ripe grapes. The Cabernet Sauvignon, in particular, benefited remarkably from the long ripening period offered in this vintage.
The grapes, harvested from October 2nd to 23rd, were particularly ripe and healthy with historically high sugar content.
Overall, these wines retain their freshness. They are rich, aromatic, very dark, exceptionally concentrated, and have astonishingly supple tannins. The Merlot is particularly solid and silky while the Cabernet Sauvignon, which benefited from the long ripening period, is truly extraordinary. The resulting wines are balanced with remarkable structure and an alcohol content rarely seen in the past. They are, however, very fresh and elegant.
These wines are extremely seductive with especially fine and long aromas.