After the difficult 1992 and 2002 vintages, many of the Southern Rhône producers already had the apprehension of this coming new "2" one.
Well, so far, what we can say is that this 2012 vintage has not been the easiest. It started with a big frost wave which damaged some vines which were actually about to resume working after a very mild winter. This frost has also created a later blooming for our Dear old vines Grenache and unfortunately, a bit of "coulure" which happens at the flowering season, when we have too much rain...
And rain, we did have a lot this Spring...just when you would like not to have some. Now, Mr Mildiou is around the corner and we hope it won't go from leaf to grape.
I remember quite well, back in 2002 as I attended the annual "Fête de la Véraison" in Cheateauneuf du Pape which happens the first WE of August to celebrate the end of the farming season when grapes start chagning color... All the producers were so happy and this, so far fantastic farming seson and this expected beautiful vintage... which ended in a nightmare.
So, actually, all hopes are permitted because even if a vintage is actually the outcome of 365 days, the last 30 days are the most critical. In our case, there is many hopes since now the Mildiou is gone (2-3 days in a row with temperature about 33° C have now got rid of it), we actually have our biggest crop ever with Carignan and Syrah and the "coulure" on Grenache has been compensated by more clusters... not to mention that a bit of coulure always gives better clusters since there are less berries on them.
Hear the cicadas singing to our beautiful Carignan grapes to mature them...
So, let's hope that this last leg of the farming will be kind with us so we can stop this number "2" malediction.
Talk to you after the harvest when we know...