2002 at Domaine de Marcoux
Fine weather settled in for the winter; granted, it was cold (-9°C to -10°C in December) but it was sunny too and the Mistral blew. There were a few showers in spring, which was superb, as was summer.
No issues with vine diseases, so we could keep treatments to the bare minimum.
That year, there were two additions to the estate: our family plot in the locality of Les Esqueirons was joined by 1 ha of Côtes du Rhône in Orange and 1.4 ha of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Sophie made the cover of monthly magazine La Revue des Vins de France and ranked number one in the list of “2002 new faces”, while Robert Parker cited us among the wine personalities of 2002.
Everything went smoothly until early September. On the 2nd, 4th and 5th we had rain and storms; then suddenly, around 3pm on Sunday 8th, the heavens truly opened, and the deluge only ceased around 11pm.
The damage was jaw-dropping: roads swept away, battered slopes, cars in ditches, vines under water, flooded houses… and the rain resumed the next day. Over two days, 400 mm fell.
Our cellar was flooded, as was Sophie’s house. Some plots were under water (the Vin de Table grapes) and we couldn’t harvest them; others bore the mark of the rain’s passage, with metre-deep trenches of water. Grapes were coated in silt, the trunks were covered by sundry debris… This time the Mistral, such an everyday feature of our seasons, didn’t ride to the rescue. A hot sun settled in; and this, coupled with the exceptionally wet soils, created an unbreathable atmosphere. A mist clung to us all day long; and the grapes, wrapped in this damp heat, were rotting in the space of a day…
The race was on. We increase the number of pickers, worked non-stop, sorted the grapes once, twice… The rot gained the upper hand in some plots and we discarded half the crop. But in the end, our sorting efforts paid off, and this problematic vintage “holds its own”!