2022 vintage : an atypical year with low yields but exceptional quality!

In the winemaker’s memory, 2022 will have been a particularly atypical year due to extreme climatic conditions:

  • A very early spring frost (4/6th April) impacted the vineyard just as the vines were starting to bud and damaged the main buds. The plants regrew secondary buds with a large quantity of bunches, berries, but also empty bunches … A late winter pruning on 2/3 of our vineyards has nevertheless limited the damage.
  • A long period of exceptional drought followed. It started very early, in May and lasted until the end of September. The cumulative rainfall for the first 9 months of 2022 was 315/320 mm of water compared to 600 mm in a normal year!

Very low yiels

These extreme weather conditions resulted in particularly low yields (between 30 and 40% losses):

  • For the Pessac-Léognan vines, both whites and reds, yields are around 30hl/ha with the exception of Château de Cruzeau, with more clayey terroirs, with yields of around 42/43 hl/ha);
  • In Entre-deux-Mers, at Château Bonnet both whites and reds, the yield is 40hl/ha;
  • Only Barbe Blanche vineyard did well, with 45-47 hl/ha. This can be explained by late pruning of the vineyard and the higher altitude of its vineyard.
  • On very clayey soils, where the roots of the vines were deep, yields are a little better and the dryness of the vineyard is less, the drought had less impact.

Vines reacts to climate change. An exceptional year like 2022 of drought, the plants quickly adapted. To compensate the lack of water, it drew on the water contained in the grape berries, starting on 20 August. On August 15th, a fairly significant rainfall in Pessac-Léognan was particularly beneficial, giving a good boost to the grapes the end of the veraison and the ripening process.

A perfect state of health offering ideal harvesting conditions.

One year is not the same as the next … If 2021 was a difficult year in terms ofhealth, the 2022 vintage is the opposite.

All the vineyards arrived at harvest time in perfect. This situation gave our teams the luxury of being able to choose precisely and without haste the ideal harvest date for each parcel.

However, it was part complicated to choose harvest dates, due to a discrepancy between the technological maturity (sugar content, acidity, PH in the grapes) and phenolic maturity (skin and seed maturity). Phenolic ripeness was a little long to corne, due to the climatic conditions (especially for the white varieties).

Most of the time, our teams took the risk ofwaiting and this gamble paid off in the end. These 2022 harvests were particularly spread out in time, starting on 18 August and ending on 11 October.

2022 Vintage: exceptional quality potential!

Small quantities, but exceptional quality is expected from all our properties. The 2022 vintage looks extremely promising.

White grapes

  • The juices are a little ri cher in sugar than in previous years.
  • In terms of degrees, at Château Bonnet we should be around 13° instead of 12.5° (in a classic year).

Red Grapes

2022 is undoubtedly the Big Year for red wines: everything is generous.

This type of vintage, which is very special, required great precision and finesse in terms of extraction, especially at the end of alcoholic fermentation. The trap would have been to fall into over­extraction. The wines are already very rich in tannins, anthocyanins and phenolic compounds. We obtain very rich juices everywhere. The alcoholic degrees are slightly higher than for a classic year; acidity and freshness are also present. Because of the slightly less juicy grapes (due to the dryness), there is a marc to juice ratio, with more skin than juice, which gives particularly coloured wines.

  • The wines of Château de Barbe Blanche, with their almost black purple colour, are of exceptional quality.
  • At Château de Cruzeau, our Carménères are particularly successful.
  • The Rochemorin vineyard is without doubt the one that has suffered the most from the drought (40% loss of volume). But this terroir still offers us some amazing things: qualitatively, the wines are indeed very homogeneous, with freshness and a very nice balance in the mouth.
  • At Château La Louvière, the best of the grape varieties are also present. The wines here are very colourful, very fruity, with very classic and relatively moderate degrees (13°5, no doubt a specificity linked to the terroir).
  • For the reds grapes of Château Couhins-Lurton, 2022 is synonymous with excellence. Here again, an exceptional terroir and vinification in small containers are major assets.

If we are to compare, 2022 could rival the 2010 vintage, which was particularly successful in Bordeaux … but with less generous yields, which undoubtedly played on the very high quality of its wines.