l e m i l l é s i m e 2 0 2 3

Vintage 2023

" f a c e a u d é f i c l i m a t i q u e "

Rude awakening

After a very dry vintage in 2022, nature woke up in the spring of 2023 with a rainfall deficit of around 50% compared with a normal year. The cool and very dry winter did not succeed to refill the soil with water.

Surprising resilience

Despite these very dry conditions, the vines began to grow vigorously, with a particularly generous emergence of bunches. It’s hard to imagine how the vine could make it trought, with so much potential fruit and such a small amount of water on her roots.

"almost tropical climate"

On May 14, after several months without any real rainfall, the clouds made a comeback, in the form of repeated thunderstorms until June 10. Every afternoon, the sky was filled with heavy clouds, bursting mainly in the foothills of the appellation, and in more reasonable quantities in the “Bandol amphitheater”. This almost-tropical climate allowed generous and rapid vine growth and the emergence of a few spots of mildew.

diving into summer

The development of disease was soon stopped, as was the growth of the vines, because the weather, that mysterious orchestral master, suddenly decided to change the music at the start of summer. The humidity of June turn into a way to dry heat and a persistent wind, immersing the vines in summer and slowing down their activity.

persistent and worrying drought

The summer is set, hot and very dry, leading us to expect an early harvest but not a large one, as the bunches ripened but did not swell. Water reserves in the soil reached their lowest level since five years.

harvest begins under the heatwave

On August 15, everything accelerated, due to a canicular and windy week. We began harvesting on August 23 with the Grenache grapes. The hot weather made harvesting difficult and accelerated grape ripening. A race against the clock began. While our clay terroir usually allows the late Mourvèdre to ripen quietly, we continued harvesting without any break, finishing as early as we started on September 6.

precision to find the right balance

In the cellar, the first grapes to come in released lots of color and lovely, intense aromas, with good acidity, promising fine balance in the rosés. The reds made our task more difficult, as we had to be very precise in our choice of plots suitable for great reds. While the Cinsaults coped very well with the drought and heat of this vintage, the Mourvèdres, which are usually very resistant, suffered from the last 3 weeks of ripening, particularly the younger vines. By selecting the finest plots, and carefully sorting the sun-damaged grapes, the resulting reds have a lovely aromatic intensity, while retaining their freshness, without any excess, with a fine tannic structure that will develop during the 18 months of barrel ageing.