Sometimes capricious but always generous, the weather this year once again played the trouble maker in what was a breathless scenario with a magnicent ending.
The 2015-2016 winter was quite mild with abundant rainfall. Spring temperatures and rainfall fell within the ten-year average and enabled a gradual development of wine vegetation while fungal disease pressure was high.
The careful monitoring and reactivity of the vineyard team ensured that the vines were well protected from the high risk of downy mildew and more particularly this year-powdery mildew. There was a very rainy spell during June, but this had no adverse effect on the owering process. We then had to wait until 13 th September, i.e two whole months, before any comparable amount of rain came. July and August were therefore very dry (-80% rainfall), with the berries hardly increasing in size and the veraison process dragging on.
On gravel terroirs, especially the faster-draining ones, severe water decit stress was starting to show in the vines, caisong concern not only for the crop but even for the future of young vines. A much-needed but feared rainstorm broke on 13th September bringing 40mm/ 1.57 inches of rain and luckily no damage. A godsend for our vines!
Two other rainy spells at the end of September and in mid-October allowed the vines to bring juicy grapes to ripeness and each sector of the vineyard to express its potential. The vinications went smoothly, outstanding depth of colour and reasonable alcoholic degrees. The wines are balanced, dense and elegant with a slighly higher acidity than in 2015 - a very encouraging sign for harmonious ageing.
The 2014, 2015 and 2016 trilogy at Prieuré-Lichine brings back memories of 1988 to 1990, in which each wine had its own identity expressing its terroir and vintage.
- 2016 Blend:
- 66% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 29% Merlot
- 5% Petit Verdot
- Aging: 50% new barrels, 50% second fill barrels