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Home > News > Coverages > 2017 : a Surprising and Challenging vintage.
10 Apr 2018

2017 : a Surprising and Challenging vintage.

2017 was a surprising, challenging year marked by extraordinary meteorological conditions that brought the technical expertise of the Vignobles André Lurton winemaking team to the fore more than ever. The fact that we were able to produce high-quality wine in such an atypical, uneven year says much about their dedication and know-how. Adapting to variations in weather and unusual vintages is all part of our effort to improve quality, which has been greatly improved in recent years in both the vineyard and cellar.

white grape
harvest
grape sorting
harvest
red grape
harvest at Château la Louvière
butterfly
harvest at Château Couhins-Lurton
harvest
harvest at Château la Louvière

In the vineyard: meticulous partitioning of vineyard plots

merlots

The effects of frost in April depended on each individual vineyard, causing disparate stages of development in the growth cycle.

Such unique circumstances required our team to adapt their methods by treating each part of the vineyard separately and closely monitoring each one. Some plots were even divided into 4 or 5 sub-plots.

We thus adjusted vineyard operations to each specific area: leaf thinning twice, removing secondary shoots, and harvesting by hand in several passes to pick only ripe grapes, etc.

These operations reflect our «Grand Cru» winegrowing policy alongside changes in viticultural practices made in recent years, such as training the vines higher, etc. This has had a very positive impact on the vineyard, resulting in healthier vines and improved ripeness.

Harvest: favourable weather

Favourable weather conditions in September made it possible to organize picking in such a way as to harvest in several passes to achieve optimum ripeness for each grape variety in each terroir. We had the luxury of waiting for complete maturity even in the most late-ripening plots.

Vendanges Couhins-Lurton
In the cellar: a large number of small lots.

We divided the grapes into small lots as soon as they arrived at the cellar to take advantage of each one’s qualities and thus to fine-tune the final blend. Each lot was fermented in an appropriate-sized vat, and some wines underwent Vinification Intégrale® in rolls and barrels.

More than 60 different lots were fermented at Château La Louvière. Our team’s expertise in this challenging vintage was essential in obtaining the highquality results demanded by the market.

Unprecedented quality!

Despite the April frost, 2017 was an early vintage conducive to the excellent quality of our white wines, which were fermented entirely in barrel. The harvest at all the Vignobles André Lurton estates ended in late September, which was exceptionally early! Our white wines are very fresh and display a lovely range of aromas, as well as good tension. Our red wines have a deep colour and beautiful aromatic complexity thanks to Cabernet Sauvignon at Château La Louvière and Merlot at Château Couhins Lurton.

Here are the harvest dates in 2014 at our various estates.

An atypical vintage

   
Vendanges Couhins-Lurton rouge 2017
   
 
   

2017 is a high-quality, atypical vintage.

This is particularly true for our red wines. 2017 can best be described as a «surprising» year, whose potential came to light thanks to recent major investments, winemaking expertise, and the experience in the field of the Vignobles André Lurton team.

Managing each plot separately and relying on numerous operations in the vineyard and cellar made it possible to even out disparities between plots and ferment grapes at optimum ripeness under the best possible conditions. Our hard work paid off handsomely in the particularly demanding 2017 vintage, rewarding months of dedicated effort and care.

Our team refused to give up, deciding instead to rise to the challenge thanks to their responsiveness, adaptability, coordination, and extensive knowledge of our terroirs.

Pascal Le Faucheur

General Director