The winter months of 2014/2015 were mild and rather sunny. The temperature did drop to -5°C around Christmas Day but apart from this cold snap the days of December, January and February were sunny and clear. It rained the final week of February and scattered showers continued through the month of March. The wet start to Spring stocked up soil water reserves which proved to be critical further into the growing season.
On the 3rd and 4th of April we gave our vines their first biodynamic treatment for the year. A herbal tea of dried horsetail (Equisetum arvense) leaves and rainwater was sprayed over the vines and soil. This treatment was carried out just before the full moon, as we know that humidity and fungi (that normally live in the soil and fulfil an important role in the breakdown and stabilisation of humus) ascend into the region around the base of the vine. If followed by warm, humid weather it is likely that mildews and other fungi are likely to occur. The ‘light trapping’ molecular structure of the silicon-rich horsetail preparation illuminates the treated areas hence coercing the darkness loving fungi to move back down below the soil. This treatment was followed by the biodynamic preparation ‘500P’, an all-natural, bacteria-rich spray and enhances humus formation and a healthy population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
The months of April and May were mostly clear, not particularly warm, but the humidity was low and we had successful flowering for both the Malbec and Merlot.
June and July were exceptionally warm and dry months with daily maximum temperatures ranging between 32°C to 40°C. On the 13th of June, 10Ha of our vines were lightly battered by a passing hailstorm and reduced the yield in these parcels because of loss of fruit and damage to the leaves.
By mid-July we saw the beginning of veraison, some 3 weeks earlier than normal! Fortunately the wet start to Spring provided the vines with enough stored groundwater to survive the extreme conditions and we only saw the very beginning of water stress before a very welcome storm the 2nd weekend of August, followed by another on the 13th of August, dumped a total of 85mm of rain ! Sunny and dry weather following these storms accelerated the ripening and we began to plan our harvest schedule.
The harvest started the 21st of September with two small days of picking as we were interrupted by two afternoons of light drizzle. From the 23rd of September the weather was clear, sunny and fine and we began the harvest with full force; the Merlot followed by the Malbec. The harvest was completed by the 3rd of October – the exact date that we started the harvest in 2014.
The 2015 fermentations already have beautiful colour, the tannins are ripe, fine and delicate and the fruit profile is incredibly fruity; blackberries, cassis and violets with aromas of black tea.
Quality of the Vintage