1. Earlier than ever. Started on 8th August for the Sauvignon Blanc.
2. Smallest crop and smallest yield ever. 7.2 tons/Ha on our contracted vineyards. 5.1 tons/ha on our own vineyards (AOP mainly).
3. Best ever due to sufficient rain in the winter and spring. Frost affected mostly the higher yielding vineyards
4. Although the harvest started very early compared to the average year, the ripening was quite slow, very homogenous and there were no over-stress factors.
The singularity of the year’s climate led to early grape maturity and harvesting, about a fortnight early compared to an average year. The unusual heat at times led to a healthy stress on the vines and slowed down the maturation process.
A few words on each grape variety:
This year the Sauvignon Blanc has reached perfect maturity in both grape skins and pulp. They have developed aromas of exotic fruits such as guava, passion fruit and mango, all the while maintaining their freshness. The particular climate of our carefully selected plots has assisted this development: in spite of the extremely hot days, the nights remained cool, helping to maintain acidity. 2017 will be one of our best years for this variety.
The Chardonnays were also harvested at optimal maturity, developing aromas of peach, nectarines and white flowers. The grapes also benefitted from the cooler nights and thus kept a great balance in acidity, despite the strong heat during the day. Several cuvees will be able to undergo malolactic fermentation, wherein they will become richer and gain in complexity, which is quite unusual for a hot vintage.
Shiraz and Grenache:
2017 has been marked by low yeilds for these grape varieties.
30-35 Hl/Ha for the Syrah and 30 Hl/Ha for the Grenache.
There was a high water supply for this vintage in autumn and winter, with regular rains during the spring. 2/3 originated from the Mediterranean Sea and 1/3 was bought by North wind, the opposite of a usual year. This led to pressure from mildew, which we managed to contain. The end of the cycle was marked by little or no rainfall, which put a swift and natural end to the few botrytis outbreaks on some of the Domaine Nicole Shirazes.
The alcohol and acidity balance this year are excellent, with the ferments showing great ripe and smooth tannins. Ripe fruit aromas are dominant in the Grenache harvest. Half of the Shiraz harvest displays aromas of blackcurrants, whilst the riper Shiraz grapes remain a little closed for the moment, with slightly jammy notes.
2017 will be an exceptional vintage with warm, generous and supple wines, marked by the sun and good maturity. The freshness is promising for an excellent 2017 Château Lauriga Soleil Blanc vintage.
The Muscat d’Alexandrie presents floral and exotic notes this year. The 2017 vintage displays both healthy yields and superior quality of the grapes. The aromatic profile hints towards an excellent vintage for our sweet wines.
As for the Muscat Petits Grains, 2017 was a more complicated year due to the humid sea winds and the perfect harmony between maturity and acidity was a difficult balance to achieve. The vintage will be marked by less expressive wines that display exceptional finesse.
This year, some of the Macabeu grapes did not quite reach optimal maturity and were slightly green in character. Other plots revealed overripe grapes. The combination of these two grape styles will enable us to blend a fleshy wine that maintains excellent freshness and acidity.
The 2017 yields are quite unique, and will create wines that are less concentrated and are more accessible and ready to drink than previous vintages from the Lauriga estate.
The 2017 vintage is one of the best we have ever had for this variety. It is marked by its slightly higher than average yield, superior quality and higher baumé (14.6%). These 3 elements combined are exceptionally rare for Vermentino grapes.
The wine will be rich, full-bodied and highly aromatic. The hot and dry year allowed us to wait until the grapes reached an unequalled and highly desirable level of over ripeness. The Vermentino of this vintage was spared both disease and decay, displaying grapes of a rich golden colour.
The nose is remarkably floral and will most certainly be one of our best vintages for this grape variety, which has never before reached such a high alcohol degree and such healthy maturity.
Cabernet Sauvignon :
2017 is a year in which the Cabernet Sauvignon harvest began early but finished late. The Cabernets reached a level nigh on perfection, with rich aromas and beautifully ripe tanins
The Pinot Noir from the Etang de Marseillette displays beautiful aromas of griottes, with a wonderful richness and spicy undertones.