2015 at Domaine de Marcoux
The 2014 harvest was barely over when the rain began to fall: 275 mm in November compared with 34 mm in November 2013!The 2014 harvest was barely over when the rain began to fall: 275 mm in November compared with 34 mm in November 2013!December was even wetter but very mild. Only in late December did we see the first frosts. Winter was slightly colder than in 2014, especially because of the Mistral, which sometimes blew very hard.
Helped by Vincent, Sophie’s son, who had joined us at the estate, we began pruning on 5 January and finished in early March, driven on by the gusting Mistral, which on 5 March was clocked at 126 km/h!
On our plot of Mourvèdre in the locality of Les Esquieirons, we trialled a remedy against hairy curtain crust (a fungus that affects wood). All the pruning wounds were hand-brushed with cow dung (breed: Aubrac!) and clay. It appears to work!
After the late-April rains, the Mistral blew almost continuously until the end of May. This caused damage among the vines, and we spent a lot of time attaching the most fragile vines and the young plants.
The month of July was sunny and not, and so was August, with more sunshine than in 2010. There was a little welcome rain on 13 August, then in late August and early September, but it didn’t affect the berries in the slightest.
We began harvesting in Châteauneuf-du-Pape on 31 August, with the Roussanne grapes first; and finished on 5 October in Lirac with the Mourvèdre. Most of the Grenache was picked between 15-30 September. The weather and the quality of the grapes meant we were able to spread the harvest over these five weeks, to obtain ideal ripeness for each variety and in each locality.
Fermentation went smoothly, and the wines were rich, elegant, engagingly complex, with low acidity and high pH – but we’re used to that. And they had brilliant, deep colours.
2015 was a vintage with all the qualities for drinking in the first flush of youth, but also all the qualities needed for lengthy cellaring, like the 1990, 1998 and 2010.