by Ivano Barbaglia.2016 was a strange year with unusual temperatures. Spring was warm and the start of summer was very uncertain, with heavy rain and cold weather. Perenospora and oidium swept through many vineyards, although ours were not affected. To keep them safe, we monitored the hillsides constantly to check vines and environmental sustainability; in the end, we were happy to see insects and butterflies in our vineyards!
August and September were drier and breezier months, which allowed the fruit to ripen on the vine perfectly. This, combined with cooler temperatures at night, made us start to believe that the harvest would be a good one! Hurrah!
The late harvest in October was excellent, with a bigger crop of grapes after the Montalbano vineyard had also been incorporated into our production.
For us personally, the 2016 vintage was a difficult and highly demanding one. The road we are pursuing to combine quality and sustainability of our vines has been a rocky but extremely satisfying one! We are very happy! Back in the winery, nothing is added to our natural wine to trigger or accelerate fermentation, it takes care of everything by itself!
by François Cazin.
This will have been my 40th vintage at Petit Chambord. Each year is of course different, but 2016 might hold a world record for "year of all excess":
-The worst will have been a long period of frost, from the 17th to the 27th of April
-A "monsoon" from mid-May to mid-June, culminating in over 200mm of rain.
-Mildew Pressure during flowering
-An incredibly dry July to September
-A heatwave in late August that burned grapes
At least we had good weather for the harvest, which took place from September 26th to October 10th. It took just 9 days to pick what nature left us, about 25% of a normal harvest. Fortunately, the quality is there, which very good maturities. The small rain on September 15th rejuvenated the vines a little, which was fortunate.
The results are a lovely Cheverny Rosé, 100% direct press, as the yields were too low to properly macerate and make reds. There will only be one cuvée of Cour-Cheverny, as the Romorantin particularly suffered from the frost (only 8 hl/h harvested.) The quality, however is very promising, with a lot of concentration thanks to the eastern winds in early October.
We ended up with a very pleasant fall, which we took advantage of to cultivate the vines and work the soils.
by Sophie Ilbert
What can we tell you about 2016? Quite frankly, it was a difficult pain in the ass here at Combel-la-Serre. To start, we had hail in early April during buding, something that has never happened here according to Julien's father Jean-Pierre! We were definitely affected but at that point it was impossible to quantify the damages.
From there, mother nature decided that to give us a rainy Spring, to the point where we thought the May and June downpours would never end. This led to a lot of coulure and many of the buds not flowering. This was followed by a hot summer, too hot even. It culminated with a 10 day heat wave in August.
By September, the vines were completely stressed and were like a deer in headlights: they were not maturing at all, with no evolution in the sugars or PH. The only thing that saved us was a nice after-season that let the plants get the their final cycle before harvest. In 2016, we averaged 22hl per hectare, when a good year in Cahors lets you get around 50...