Saint Antonin’s Newsletter – Spring 2018

What an amazing year, this still young born vintage 2018, which presents itself so differently  from its predecessor. The winter was mild and rainy, except for an extremely cold period in February, which ourselfs and the vines will certainly remember for some time.

While bud burst occurred very early last year, the vines have returned to their “normal” rhythm this spring: Vegetation woke up by the end of March and it so far benefits from the good water reserves in the soil. The latter will certainly protect the plants from drought stress well until July or even August. If the abundant groundwater and the warming sunshine could impel the vines to a fast, almost explosive growth, it has so far been rather moderate due to the natural ground cover and the still quite low soil temperatures.

We have been observing this growth behavior of the vines for several years. More specifically, since we switched to organic farming for about a decade ago. Plants have gained strength and independence and are less vulnerable and less affected by changeable weather. It seems that  they had found their own rhythm, a rhythm that we have to respect and want to respect by the way.

The wines show a similar development and we adapt our working methods to their needs: hand picking at optimum maturity, depending on grape variety and location, long maceration with gentle extraction, slow ageing of the wines on fine lees in wood or in concrete tanks.

But the most amazing “tools” of winemaking that we’ve rediscovered in recent years are patience, restraint and, of course, time. There is no reason to impose an imaginary character to the wines by technique and intervention, because it has already been created by the vines and the vintage. Our job is simply to accompany them, to pick the ripe fruits and to patient with a wineglass in hand. The wines will tell us when they are ready …

For this reason, the Cuvee “Magnoux” 2016 will certainly rest in the cellar until the end of the year. “Les Jardins”, rosé une red, as well as “Cazalet” vintage 2017 were bottled last month and are at your disposal.

We wish you a nice spring,
Fabienne and Frédéric Albaret