2018 started off (just like the previous year ended) with a very rainy January.
Budburst occurred during the first fortnight in April. Temperatures during the spring of 2018 were above seasonal averages by 2°C but there was still a lack of sunshine.
There was no lack of rain, though, which continued to fall regularly, causing significant pressure from vine diseases, particularly downy mildew. By efficiently managing weather windows, we were able to cope.
Flowering took place in damp weather at the start of June. This did not prevent it from going smoothly but we did notice slight inconsistencies.
Starting in mid-July, the sunshine returned and temperatures increased. A (very) long period of sunshine and very low rainfall compared with previous years then ensued. Our limestone soils allowed the vines to show good resistance to water stress.
September was a particularly dry month, allowing us to wait until October 1 to start harvesting the Merlots. The weather conditions remained favourable and we finished harvesting our last Cabernet-Sauvignons on October 10.
At the moment, the vintage reveals expressive wines, laden with fruit and colour. The following months will allow us to structure them. For Château Tour Saint-Fort, the 2018s will provide confirmation of improvements to quality since the 2015 vintage.