2020 is a vintage marked by its exceptional earliness and high level of sunshine, resulting in small yields and very great concentration.
After a 2019-20 winter that was normal in terms of rainfall, but again very mild with a very low number of frosty days, new growth showed early signs from end February. Bud-break kicked in from end March and year 2020 was already declaring itself as extremely precocious. After a few cooler days at the beginning of April, temperatures rose again and green growth forged ahead. Over the second part of April and throughout May, this growth continued at a good rate, with two new leaves per week. The team at the domain worked flat out to complete de-budding in time and to keep pace with growth through successive trellis-wire liftings. Vine flowering set off on the Côte around 18th May and finished in the Hautes-Côtes de Nuitsatthe end of May. Summer then arrived, with weather that was again marked by high heat and low rainfall. Until mid-July this situation remained favourable to the vines, with veraison occurring very early and announcing a record early harvest for vintage 2020. This weather was at the same time unfavourable to the development of mildew and oïdium, so grape health was perfect. Over end July and the month of August, the lack of water began to be felt and the hillier parcels of vines began to yellow. Ripening continued at a good rate, but grapes did not swell, due to the lack of water.
Harvesting began at the domain on 28th August for La Côte and ended on 10th September up in the Hautes-Côtes. As in 2018 and 2019, grape health was absolutely perfect and sorting hardly necessary.
This perfect healthiness, advanced maturity and the light weight of berries due to lack of rainfall brought wines with great concentration, but equally with more notable freshness and acidity than in 2019. In summary, 2020 follows along the lines of vintages 2015 and 2018/2019; a vintage of very well-developed ripeness, giving pure and precise wines with extreme concentration and beautiful balance.
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Cask sample. Surprisingly broad and ripe on the palate for an Hautes-Côtes. Just a little one-dimensional although there is an interesting mineral finish. 15.5
Ripe apricot fruit on the generous aroma. Medium- full and creamy, with a touch of pithy apricot skin and plenty of freshness and tension. Almond kernel and sapidity to finish. Yummy.
Ripe strawberry fruit aroma, the succulence flecked with white pepper. Generously rounded and juicy; full and ripe, with light snap to the tannin and appetizing bite. Full on the front palate, quite open and airy through the middle, and more delicate and precise to finish.
Black-cherry aroma then an energetic palate with a firm bite of tannin, encased in rich dark fruit.
A slightly herbal note. Very fresh, with a smoky, graphite finish.
Upright and up-toned, floral and bright. The straight, clipped palate is enfolded in ripe red fruits. Firmly threaded with acidity and well defined at the edges. The finish is savoury, salty and sappy. Spot-on. Both racy and ripe.
A quite haughty aroma, then reserved on the palate. Shows good depth and density, with a firm grip to the tannin. Vigorous and powerful on the finish.
It is ripe but has a colder cut. Good persistence.