Roussillon, France, September 14th, 2015 – During their dormant period, the vines were well watered in the months of November and March with above average rainfall (+100 mm compared to a normal year), which replenished the soils and subsoils and consequently helped avoid hydric stress during the following summer. Overall, a mild winter (with the exception of a colder than average month of February) already foreshadowed favorable climatic conditions for the 2015 vintage.
Starting at the beginning of May, the weather in Roussillon became dry with temperate nights, and a few storms in the month of August brought between 30 and 50 mm of rain. The tramontane wind blew moderately. All of these elements came together to result in an extraordinary development and concentration of the grapes.
Budding occurred as late as the past two years. On the other hand, flowering was early with a very good berry set. The balance between quantity of clusters and leaf cover was optimal for the maturation of both white and red vines. The canopy was in excellent health, assuring complete ripening of the polyphenols for production of red prestige cuvées beginning in mid-September.
Moderate winds combined with a rather dry summer were ideal conditions for the health of the vines, which was excellent at the beginning of the 2015 harvest, with fine canopy shelter.
Ripeness was achieved earlier than in 2014, and thus the harvest of the first clusters of Muscat à Petits Grains began on August 7th. The harvest of vines for white and rosé wines then reached its peak the third week of August.
The 2015 vintage already promises a perfect balance between sugar and acidity. The first rosé cuvées give glimpse of a very interesting aromatic profile with notes of wild strawberries, cherry and raspberry. In the mouth they are fresh and elegant. The white wines show floral and notes of white fleshed fruit.
The harvest has just concluded, following six weeks of picking perfectly healthy grapes under optimal weather conditions.
In order to be sure that we had an exceptional vintage, we needed to analyze the reds, as well as the Natural Sweet Wines (Rivesaltes, Banyuls, Maury and the Muscats de Rivesaltes).
Just like the whites and rosés, the reds will leave their mark on this 2015 vintage. Firstly, with remarkable pH levels, the red wines of the Roussillon possess a magnificent aromatic support, with notes of ripe and jammy red fruit, a beautiful balance and a lovely length on the palate. Tannins are fine, delicate and elegant.
It should be noted that the musts for Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvère were truly extraordinary. The red wines of the Roussillon will be wines for ageing, but not only : with the freshness of the 2015 vintage, some will be ready for drinking within one to two years, revealing all of their aromatic intensity. The newly fortified Vins Doux Naturels also possess great elegance, with that fresh note so characteristic of this beautiful 2015 Roussillon vintage. One can already detect exotic notes on the nose, followed by floral aromas with great finesse.
In conclusion, the 2015 vintage is much anticipated in Roussillon. Quality and most of all quantity are right on the mark. Its every aspects; including balance, volume, pronounced fruit characteristics, aromatic complexity and its lovely freshness; are very promising.
Thus, the Roussillon introduces a great and lovely vintage, both for its AOP and IGP dry wines as well as for its Natural Sweet Wines. This is an improvement that the winegrowers were long awaiting, after so many years of drought.