In 2008 our patience was rewarded when October brought exceptional weather. Picking took place from October 6th to October 29th, making it possible to take full advantage of the ripening conditions that appeared late in the season.
Climatic conditions of this vintage
Overall, the season was cool from April until the harvest. Unlike July (which was relatively dry, like in 2007), August was especially rainy (81 mm of rainfall in Margaux, versus an average of 58 mm). The first fortnight of September (was also rainy (around 10 days of rain out of 15), and also rather mild. Fortunately, during the second fortnight, the weather was dry and cool, with high contrasting daytime/nighttime temperature fluctuations, right up until October 26.
Consequences on the quality of the grapes
The blooming of the Merlot was somewhat irregular due to the rains of May and the low temperatures. Véraison took place around August 15–20 on the gravely soils of Margaux, in a generally satisfactory manner, and over an average period of time. By the end of the month it could be predicted that the harvest would occur at the very end of September or the beginning of October, and the final quality would depend on the weather conditions of the last period, during September and October. The low temperatures of September (more than 2,5 °C below average) and the generous sun of September and October both delayed ripening and favored grape quality by allowing slow ripening, which is especially beneficial to the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Merlots are particularly concentrated and full bodied, while the Cabernet-Sauvignons possess exceptional structure and elegance. The final blends are well balanced with remarkable structure, showing freshness and elegance.