After the news from Bordeaux and Burgundy, here are the reports on 2014 from Quinta do Noval, Disznókő and Mas Belles Eaux.
Cédric Loiseau of Mas Belles Eaux (Languedoc):
“At Mas Belles Eaux the decuvages finished on the 1st November. The least that one can say is that we had a turbulent harvest period: 400 mm of rain between the 15th and the 30th September! This forced us to harvest very rapidly.
Harvest began on the 28th September with the Syrahs harvested for the rosé of Mas Belles Eaux, then the white Grenache and the Vermentino (first year of production) entered the chai at the beginning of September. Ripening having slowed somewhat, we decided to wait a little before bringing in the red, and in particular the Syrahs, which were slowly attaining maturity.
On 17th September, the deluge: more than 200 mm of rain fell on the property in one and a half hours. The damage in the vineyard was quite extensive, terraces and roads swept away… but the biggest worry was the grapes: would they be able to resist long enough before we were able to go back into the vineyard?
Four (long) days were necessary before we were able to penetrate the first parcels and begin to harvest (because the ground was waterlogged). After that it was a frenetic harvest to bring everything in before the sky once more fell on our heads.
The good surprise was that the Syrah and Grenache had in spite of everything resisted well these adverse conditions! Ripeness was almost completely achieved before the rain, so there was not much diluting effect, and as we harvested rapidly, Botrytis did not have time to invade the harvest.
We fought against the clock by using two harvesting machines and a team of manual harvesters. Even in spite of this, we were unable to save two small parcels: one hectare of Syrah and our two hectares of Petit Verdot.
Since the rain was forecast to return at the end of the month of September, we brought in the Carignan and the Mourvèdre as quickly as possible. The quality of these is perhaps a notch below that of the Syrah and the Grenache. The harvest ended therefore on the 29th September. On the 30th September 150 mm more of rain fell. We had got the grapes in just in time.
We macerated the wines between 28 and 37 days according to the grape varieties, the malo lactic fermentations starting « sous marc « in most cases, and by the time we were ready for the decuvage almost all the malolactic fermentations were finished. The average yield is 38 hl/ha.
Verdict: some superb white wines, a rosé of an exceptional freshness and aromatic expression, very elegant and structured Syrahs, fruity and powerful Grenaches, and maybe some good surprises among the later harvested varieties. “
Read the 2014 Harvest Reports of the other properties :