The 2014 Vintage
This year was rather mild temperature wise with lighter than usual rainfall throughout the season.
The blooming cycle started a bit early after that tempered and low precipitation winter.
March and April were warmer than traditional, leading to early shootings around April 10th. The growth did slowdown in May as temperature lowered and rainfall increased more than usual.
June’s temperatures picked up and rainfall was very light. Blooming started around June 10th in the best circumstances.
We had a regular July-August period with warm temperatures and heavy rain. That good weather’s timing created the perfect environments for the vine’s growth.
The canopy and clusters developed well and rapidly under these good conditions.
The grapes reached great maturity thanks to a warm month of September.
The harvest took place in idyllic condition without rain and pleasant temperatures.
The 2013 Vintage
Although the beginning of the winter of 2013 was characterized by low temperatures, it was accompanied by unremitting rains.
The beginning of spring was so cold that bud-break was delayed. Then two beautiful days at the end of April allowed the shoots to break through. The month of May was marked by relatively low temperatures for the season with little rainfall.
The first two weeks of June were seasonably warm, which gave way to heavy rain storms. Flowering occurred at the end of June and progressed well, despite temperatures that were rather low for the season.
From July to mid-September temperatures were not excessive for the summer months, but also there was less rain than usual. The vines grew very quickly, and the grapes set with equal speed.
In mid-September a spell of rainy weather across the region allowed the grapes to develop and mature in a good state of health. Temperatures during both day and night remained sufficiently warm.
Harvest was marked by good weather conditions with little rain and agreeable temperatures. Grolleau was harvested on October 9-10; Cabernet Franc was picked between October 17-20; as for the Cabernet Sauvignon, it was harvested on October 21. (All grapes are biodynamically grown and hand-harvested at Clau de Nell.)
The 2011 Vintage
The winter of 2011 was dry and moderately cold, with only a bit of frost in the Loire region of Anjou at the beginning of February.
March was a dry and mild month. April was free from rainfall and registered higher than usual temperatures for this period of the year — up to 27°C on April 7 and 8 (the hottest month of April in the past 35 years). Budburst took place on April 10, followed by rapid bud growth due to the high temperatures. Debudding began on May 2, brought about by hot temperatures with plenty of sunshine and still no rain. The vegetation’s growth was very rapid with flowers appearing around May 20.
The months of June, July and August were characterized by mild temperatures, plenty of daily sunshine and very little rain.
September was marked by high temperatures, hot nights and some thunderstorms. A couple of showers allowed the vines to reach full maturity. The harvest started on September 15-16 with the Grolleau variety, which benefited from sunny conditions and mild temperatures.
Rainfall on the September 17-18 allowed the Cabernets, which were starting to suffer from the drought, to fully ripen. The Cabernets were harvested between September 30-October 6, thereby benefiting from exceptional weather conditions, with plenty of daily sunshine and summertime temperatures.Download (PDF)