30th March 2022
THE BIRTH OF A VINTAGE
Once again this year, a mild and rather dry winter promoted early budding on the vines, leaving them more vulnerable to spring frosts. The minus temperatures on the mornings of 7 and 8 April were very stressful, but fortunately, there were no losses to report at Château Brown!
Following this period of frost, we were faced with an extremely damp spring with record June rainfall of 230 mm, fostering development of downy mildew. However, this was handled well across all vineyards.
A SLOW START TO THE SUMMER
The summer season then took a long time to set in. A lack of sunshine or heat in July was combined with leafhopper attacks, causing substantial damage to the foliage and delaying ripening in some areas. Fortunately, the month of August was dry with beautiful sunshine. Beautifully warm and breezy days with slightly cooler nights helped ensure concentrated, high quality grapes.
A REDEEMING END TO THE SEASON
The end of the season was good, with a superb September and October! The 2021 harvests thus began later than the previous year, but in excellent weather conditions.
PLOT-BY-PLOT VINIFICATION IN TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED STAINLESS STEEL VATS
For red grapes winemaking, we favoured gentle extraction to preserve the crisp fruit and ensure greater softness and roundness in the future wine.
The vatting periods were relatively long (approximately four weeks), and gentle but repeated pumping over was used to maximise colour extraction.
A RESPONSIVE TEAM THAT LISTENS TO NATURE
Our team has been using sustainable pest management to combat vine disease and focusing on prophylaxis for several years. In 2021, seven of the twelve treatments performed involved products that can be used for organic agriculture.
In the context of a demanding vintage with significant climate variations, our cultivation strategy and the responsiveness and commitment of our teams were vital in achieving the yields and quality levels we were looking for. During the heavy rainfall in June, our plant cover served as a vital ally in maintaining soil structure. At the same time, manual leaf thinning and the use of natural insect repellents to camouflage the vines and protect them from leafhoppers allowed us to avoid applying unnecessary treatments.
OUR FIRST TASTING IMPRESSIONS
When tasted, our fine white wine offers magnificent tension and an explosion of aromas, demonstrating how perfect the weather conditions were for whites.The cool summer temperatures preserved their acidity and aromas.
Delicate on the nose with lemon, citrus and white flower notes. And what sensuality on the palate! Full and powerful in the attack, with a precise, lingering finish featuring an addictive touch of sweetness.
For our fine red wine, this vintage was very good for Cabernet Sauvignon. This gives the wine its ripe, soft tannins and its deep colour.
On the nose, subtle fresh fruit and cherry aromas unfurl over a delicately oaky base. On the palate, the wine is fruity and unctuous in the attack, before revealing silky, caressing tannins. The finish is soft and long with crisp, lingering fruit.