September-October 2014 at Château Malartic-Lagravière
Our knowledge of the vineyard: meticulous work carried out by our teams, with sustainable canopy management taken further.
A comprehensive expression of a blend of terroirs and grape varieties.
2014, the spring brought pleasant conditions to Malartic, with a good, fairly even flowering; July was reasonable, despite some rain that interrupted periods of fine weather. But August was catastrophic, starting out hot and humid and then becoming very cool. As the harvests approached, we feared for the health of the grapes because of a significant risk of mildew in early August and some outbreaks of botrytis on the white grapes at the end of the month.
Fortunately, on 27 August, a period of superb weather arrived that was to continue throughout the harvests. It was one of the most exceptional Septembers that we have had for a very long time. Ripeness progressed exponentially, and we were able to harvest very concentrated grapes that produced powerful, aromatic musts, enlivened by very good levels of acidity. The perfect balance!
Our teams waged a constant battle throughout the growing season to compensate for the very unusual conditions. The decisions were fast and well-managed thanks to an experienced, reinforced team:
• Meticulous removal of unwanted shoots and buds and regular trimming to control the risk of disease and preserve the foliage.
• Early leaf removal, then again later on both sides in mid-August to ensure the aromatic development of the white grapes and a perfect state of health.
• Green harvesting to regulate the ripening of the red grapes.
The white grapes benefitted from the cool weather in August which helped to preserve their flavours and acidity.
For the red grapes, green harvests midway through the ripening stage (for the Cabernet and the Merlot) further improved their uniformity, that was already very reasonable thanks to a good flowering. The Indian summer and tailored canopy management enabled us to smooth out August’s deficiencies. The harvests ended on 21 October under sunny skies.
The white 2014, Sauvignons as Sémillons, are absolutely superb: Flesh and straight, racy and very aromatic, with good acidity (pH 3.10/3.15).
The Merlot is dense, rounded and rich, with lots of volume. Very uniform due to intensive upstream work on the plots, their quality goes beyond a simple expression of the vintage and presents a real Malartic style.
The Cabernet is also excellent: very clean, pure and long, with bright, almost sunny fruit, and a noticeable sweetness. The tannins present volume and flexibility. Remarkable!
The Cabernet-Franc has very elegant floral notes, while the Petit-Verdot displays a very characteristic spicy, pepperiness, with notes of Morello cherries.
Malartic 2014 has benefited from two significant factors:
An Indian summer that was crucial to the vintage’s quality, enhanced by our growing techniques.
The mastery of our terroirs: the enhancement of techniques begun in 1997; rigorous “eco-dynamic” methods in which sustainable farming is taken as far as possible. A knowledge of the plots that enables us to refine the work on achieving optimal ripeness for each type of terroir, both during the growing season and the harvests. Successive passes for the white grapes and intra-plots for the reds.