A tale of heat and drought
As you probably know, this year was particularly hot and dry. From January to October we had a total of 384 mm of rain! In May, July and September we beat the temperature records. In August, we had more than 40 °C (104° F) for several consecutive days. All that, made this year super-complicated. Not only the grapes were dehydrated but also all the bacterial (yeast included) environment was seriously damaged.
We start our manual harvest on the 7th of September, with the small parcel of Len de L’oeil and Duras. In the next days continued with Prunelart, separating the tanks on the young vineyards and old vineyards. Same for Jurançon noir. All the grapes started their fermentation as whole bunches for around a week before being destemmed and pressed. The free-run juices and the press juices are still separately fermenting with their natural yeasts.
All that, made this year super-complicated.
In case of Mauzac rose we had a really good volume of production but the grapes were really small. For that reason, we decide to destem before pressing adding a few stems to manage as well as we could the drainage of the extracted juice in the press.
All the wines should be between 13 -13.5 % ABV. The fermentation is still going on, the malo is done.
Volume and quality of grapes
In 2022, due to the very intense drought that we have never seen before, Tokaj-Hétsz?l? Vineyards would harvest with a lower volume compared to earlier years. However, with careful selection we’ll have a very good quality in both the dry and late harvest wines. From this vintage, however, we will hardly have any botrytised wines unfortunately.
How much/little juice in the grapes
Our vineyards are situated in the most southernmost and hottest part of the Tokaj Region. Due to this location the drought hit our land particularly, and, as a result, we had less juice in the ripe grapes. There were some parts of our vineyards where bunches could not even develop properly. In Tokaj Region, irrigation is forbidden so we had no chance to give extra water to our soil. This might change in the future as many other wineries have had the same problems.
With careful selection, we’ll have a very good quality in both the dry and late harvest wines.
Growing season irregularities?
Very early harvest began on the 22nd of August with Muscat and it was followed by Furmint.
We actually just had our Japanese importer here and tried through the 2022 vintage. All of the wines taste pretty good as of now; the Riesling is still all pretty sweet, but everything else pretty dry. Regarding the growing season, 2022 was INSANELY dry. No rain for two months from end of June. We were pretty nervous about how the grapes would develop as it was so dry. But then after the first week or two of harvest, it was basically endless rain. We were pretty happy about this as finally we had some juice in the grapes, but then on the other hand it also created perfect conditions for botrytis. So we had some vineyards we had to harvest at different times, harvesting both the botrytis and the clean fruit separately.
We were pretty nervous about how the grapes would develop as it was so dry. But then after the first week or two of harvest, it was basically endless rain.
What’s tasting pretty amazing in barrel for me at this moment is the Pinot Noir. It’s the best it’s ever been. I think it will be bottled as a single varietal Pinot Noir. We experimented a bit with different fermentation styles and destemmed 1/3 of it, put whole bunch grapes on top and macerated it for about 16 days. It’s juicy and oh-so-elegant, reminds me of Renaud Boyer (bold statement, I know), but he was the inspiration! Just need to go to Burgundy and buy some little barrels!
That’s about it for now. Just have to put some Rieslings still in barrel and then holiday 🙂
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