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Domaine d'Aussières, harvest report 2014

A vintage of contrasts, but with finesse and freshness

                          Vendanges Aussière 2JPG

The Languedoc was subject to strong climatic variations, particularly in terms of rainfall, which had a different impact on production in each region. The northern and southern parts of the region generally saw excessive rainfall, while the central part suffered from a lack of water. Even within the Aussières estate, the climate in this vintage saw variations between the different terroirs and grape varieties. In spite of the very different weather conditions compared with the previous vintage, 2014 shares some similarities in terms of the balance of the wines, with good levels of extraction, good aromatic delicacy and sustained freshness.

After a very rainy autumn in 2013, the dry 2014 winter did not allow for optimal build-up of water reserves in the vineyard. The mild winter temperatures, and a spring that was fortunately rainier, led to early bud burst and good development of the vegetation. Flowering took place in the second half of June under ideal climatic conditions. Summer was quite cool and very dry. In fact the coastal region of the central Languedoc, to which Aussières belongs, saw much lower rainfall than usual, leading to a lack of water on our shallow terroirs.

Syrah was the grape variety most affected by this phenomenon in terms of quantity. September saw a rather unpredictable climate, marked by a major spell of rain at the end of the vintage, during the harvesting of the Mourvèdre, which required us to stop for a while. Having been able to re-start very quickly, this had little effect on progress and the quality of the vintage.

 Picking began on 1 September for the Chardonnay (compared with 18 September in 2013) and finished on 2 October with the Mourvèdre (compared with 18 October in 2013).

 In the cellar, tasting of the different grape varieties during fermentation confirmed the good level of the vintage in terms of both the aromas and structure of the wines.

 

Varieties

                          Vendanges Aussières 1

Corbières and the southern varieties show good potential

Less sensitive to the climatic conditions, the southern grape varieties are showing good potential. Though affected in terms of yield, the Syrah, the most northerly of the Corbières grape varieties, shows a good level of quality.

 IGP Oc wines, a good result in quantity and quality

Planted on our deepest terroirs, with greater water reserves, the varieties used for our IGP Oc wines were able to keep all their production potential in terms of both quantity and quality. On tasting, the good balance and freshness, particularly for the Chardonnay, give us the assurance that we will be able to maintain the style that characterises this range of Aussières wines.

The vintage report was prepared by Aymeric Izard, Director of the Aussières site, and Eric Kohler, Technical Director of the group’s international estates.