Vallée du Rhône 2015 by Michel Tardieu

Vintage in “5”, vintage which bring good luck. Often…

Spell of the years in «5»? The fact is that, in recent decades, Vintages ending in «5» –1985, 1995, 2005, and 2015– , carry success stories, in Vallée du Rhône, but also, more generally, in the whole of the Vineyards of France. It must be said that 2015 put the odds on its side, with almost optimal climatic conditions for each and every season of the year! Thus, winter is rainy, allowing vines to benefit from good water reserves. Spring awakening is somewhat late – 3 weeks delay, compared to 2014, yet, the weather gradually settles, and flowering takes place in excellent conditions: the output of grapes is quite simply outstanding. The summer period arrives then quickly, with extremely hot months of June, July and August. Nevertheless, one cannot speak of heat wave, as the nights remain cool. Consequently, thermal amplitudes are absolutely phenomenal. No pressure from pests and diseases, the vineyard and the winemaker breathe freely. Everything is looking fine before the start of the harvest…

In the North

The rains that occurred end of August unblocked, then, in a second step, accelerated maturing. Rarest data, the grapes are, here, widely in advance: thus, as unbelievable as it may read, Côte Rôtie is the first Appellation to start harvesting! Levels of maturity are quite homogeneous. There is no gap between phenolic maturity and physiological ripeness. Never, ever, had we tasted such quality of juice. The wines are clearly defined, both dense and fresh: the perfection  of their balance is purely disconcerting…

In the South

Ripe, but not too much. Summer and the month of September are punctuated by rains, avoiding the suffering of the vines, a key element during the summer period. The grapes mature slowly.  Unfortunately, the rain that falls around September 20th is the “too much” rain… Pity, we were right next to a huge Vintage… But, well, no worry, the Style of the Vintage remains more than charming, with full, juicy, and silkiest Wines!

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