Provence wine – vintage verdict
There’s a myth circulating at the moment that 2013 will be a good year for wine. Everyone agrees the weather conditions were difficult:- a wet spring and a cool beginning to summer meant that the countryside was running late. Lavender was still in full flower in July and cherries still available in the markets. It’s been possible to eat good Provencal melons at the end of September.
Like other agricultural products the wine harvest has been pushed backwards. Tractors that usually fill the fields at the beginning of September have only just chugged into action. The nights are cool, there’s plenty of rain about and yet most vignerons will still spin an optimistic yarn about the low yields meaning a high concentration of flavour in the surviving grapes, ‘2013 will be a great year, so fill your cellars, and buy buy,’ so the refrain goes.
These same men and women have spent the majority of the year glum faced looking up at the sky and down at the muddy earth at their feet, telling anyone who cared to listen how difficult their job is. Yet come September/October time, all negativity has been instantly retracted. Within just a few months the 2013 wine will be on sale and so a marketing gloss has been applied to the story of the year.
Here’s the reality, straight from the mouths of two Luberon vignerons:
‘It’s going to be terrible, anyone who tells you otherwise is a joker. One of the hardest years ever to grow good wine. Low yields and poor quality grapes. Don’t ever think of keeping a 2013. Drink it young and fruity and hope for better from 2014.’
Outside while they were saying this a thunderstorm was rolling through the hills depositing a huge volume of water onto the countryside, and delaying the start of the harvest for at least another couple of days. Bacchus will not be happy.
Also on ProvenceGuru:
Chasing the Dream – Will William Chase of Tyrrell’s crisps fame succeed where other wealthy would-be vigneron’s have failed and make money out of a Procencal vineyard?
Wine – Greats of Provence – Chateau Simone and the story of how a vineyard’s wine can become just too popular