The 2009 vintage exceeded all expectations with outstanding qualities owing to a hot and dry summer and an Indian summer during harvest. This is the result of a year that presented all the ideal qualities for a great vintage. From autumn 2008 to the end of the winter 2009, abundant rainfall allowed the soil to top up on its hydrous reserves, which allowed the vines to resist the particularly dry summer later on in the year. The spring was also exceptional with cooler temperatures and higher humidity levels than usual. We had 31 days with minimum temperatures between 10 and 15°C and 170mm of rain between mid-April and mid-June. The summer beat all records with 24 days of temperatures above 35°C, 12 alone during the month of August. The temperatures were therefore in excess in 2009 as well as with plenty Mistral. These climatic conditions reflect the quality of the vintage, with extremely healthy grapes, beautiful colour and great tannic structure.
Exceptional conditions give exceptional reactions. Therefore 2009 is one of the most premature vintages since the beginning of this century with flowering taking place between 23 May and 7 June depending on the varieties followed by the first colorations (Veraison) between 11 and 25 July. We also noticed that the organic farming methods we have been using in the vineyard for many years have shown results in 2009. The outcome is the perfect regularity in the development of the vine throughout its cycle.
Harvest started on August 28th with Grenache Blanc and ended on 28 September with the last bunches of Mourvèdre. The exceptional quality of Mourvèdre in 2009 showed the extraordinary potential of these vines that are over 50 years old and planted in the most northern part of the Appellation. Harvest was carried out in ideal conditions, minimal sorting and we were able to organise the crop according to the maturity of the different varieties. As usual, the yields at Beaucastel were inferior to the 35hl/h authorised by the Appellation of Châteauneuf du Pape with an average of 28 hl/h.
The 2009 vintage can be described as a wine with good structure and soft tannins. The wine is balanced and has a great acidity despite the high temperatures in August. This wine has characteristics of a great vintage such as 2005 and 2007 with great ageing potential.