Christophe: “We are still harvesting. We have finished the Cabernet Sauvignon – the last grapes were picked on Friday. The Cabernet Sauvignon was very ripe including the pips and skins and this year is much more evenly ripe than the Cabernet Franc, which is decidedly variable. I expect that there will be a 2008 Rocca Nigra (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) but am less sure about whether we will release a Petra Alba (Cabernet Franc on calcaire – limestone) in 2008. As usual the Cabernet Franc on calcaire is later in ripening.
“There is still not much juice in the grapes. Yields are about two thirds of what I had anticipated – about 25-30 h/ha for the Cabernet Sauvignon.”
“We didn’t pick this morning as there was a little rain but I expect we will start picking the Cabernet Franc tomorrow morning and finish on Friday. We picked the Chenin for the Anjou Blanc on Thursday and Friday of last week. It was a good thing we did as noble rot really developed over Saturday and Sunday. As for the Coteaux de l’Aubance I expect that we will begin on Friday and we’ll pick Monday and Tuesday – the forecast is good until Wednesday. Noble rot is now developing. I might release a little Grandpierre (Christophe’s single vineyard L’Aubance, which has a wonderfully mineral character, but there will be very little as the parcel was frosted.
It’s is a problem getting some of the grapes fully phonologically ripe as most of the leaves have now fallen off – because the vines started to anticipate winter early due to the cool temperatures in August. Also, of course, the vintage is later than in recent years.”