VINTAGE 2021: a few questions asked to our winemaker, Matthieu Danglas.
1/ First, are you finished with the harvests or not yet ? Is everything safe in the cellar ?
The vintage 2021 was a bit moved this year. Indeed, we started the harvests later on compared to last year. As usual, the Gewurztraminer and the Pinot Noir, two early varietals for the region, were the first harvested. For the other ones, we waited a bit more in order to reach a perfect ripeness. Indeed, the frost, the rain, the cold and the drought made the work harder and we had to pay more attention to reach the result we were looking for.
2/ First verdict: what do you think about this new vintage ? How was the year ? Tell us a bit more about the first results (quantity and quality) ?
We knew how complicated this year was, at all points. In March and April, it rained quite a lot. It’s a good thing, especially during the flowering, the vines slightly grow, the leaves calmly come out so the season started well. However, the rain doesn’t bring only benefits, diseases come with it. Indeed, the regular rains make the protection of the plants harder especially against mildew. Then, we faced the hail, without being too damaged, hopefully. Last but not least, the drought came to play as well and the vines suffered from it.
Talking about ripeness, it was harder to find the right moment to harvest. Indeed, with all these climate changes, we had to pay close attention to find the perfect date (to learn more about the ripeness of the grapes, read this article). Finally, we lost, as many winemakers this year, a part of the grapes but the quality remains excellent. The grapes are more concentrated, as there are less on the plants, so we expect a lot from the vintage 2021.
3/ What was the most difficult for this vintage ? The harvests or the vinification ?
As always, the harvests. But this year, with the loss, everything went well. As I said, we had to pay close attention to the harvest date but there were less grapes to pick so we calmly did it. The rain was announced and as it’s the worst moment for it, the grapes really have to stay dry, we stressed a bit but nothing bad finally. For the vinification, it went pretty well as well, the quantity was less than last year so we used less tanks which made the job easier.
4/ What are the next steps for you in the cellar in terms of vinification ?
In the cellar, most of the fermentations are ending. For the tanks which are not finished yet (the sugar hasn’t become alcohol yet), we lightly work to let the yeasts finish it. We especially wait for the end of the malolactic fermentation on the red wines only. We also have to pay close attention because autumn is coming and the temperatures are going down. It’s easier for us when the fermentations are done before the cold comes because then, the yeasts stop their work. If it happens, we will have to warm up the tanks to let the yeasts finish the fermentation.
Once the malolactic fermentation is done, we will start to blend. Our whit wine in AOC Minervois is very good. He continues the line of the precedent vintages, aromatic, balanced and light. These last few years, this wine was nicely awarded and I think the wine lovers will love it too. For the rosé 2021, it’s an explosion of fruits and freshness, with a color that perfectly fits with the market. For the red wines, it’s too early to blend but soon, we will start for the Oh lala 2021.
5/ Talking about the wines now, when will it be possible to taste your first bottles of 2021 ?
For the white and the rosé, at the beginning of December.
For the red, we are not in a hurry, not before next year. We prefer to let the wine slightly evolve rather than trying to bottle the first ones quickly. We will taste the wine regularly in order to decide if it needs more time or not but the first bottles might come out in the summer or in September.
6/ Let’s come back to the vine, now the harvest is done, what is the plan for the plots ? What are you going to do before the beginning of the pruning ?
We would like to produce organic wine in a few years so we work on the soils to make them better and energize them. For instance, plough the plots right after the harvest in order to open the soil and let the water go deep on it. After this, we don’t do anything until spring. For the pruning, it might start around December or January.