“2020 is a tricky vintage”

Pierrick Harang tells us this week: “During Spring, we faced a huge pression of mildew due to humid weather and more rains than usual. Then we had a warm, sometimes very hot, Summer, and we were quite lucky to have natural water resource in the soils for a healthy but quick growing session”

Pierrick then undertook his grape harvest early – about 10 to 15 days earlier than he would normally. “Surprisingly, some red grapes were ready before the white ones” he told us. “For instance, Chardonnay and Viognier were harvested after Pinot Noir and some Merlot, which was the first time this has happened in the 22 years I have been winemaking”

Pierrick was a bit worried about the quality of the crop, due to the high level of mildew, but the warm and dry weather at the end of August and September, was a relief.

Unfortunately, however the harvest was 10 % down in volume but the 2020 quality is good, and that bodes well and the initial indication is that the wines are very promising: “The whites are very aromatic with a natural low pH, the rosés are sexy and fresh” Pierrick predicts. “Reds deep, fruit driven. I could say that 2020 is close to 2019 in quality for the reds, but better for whites and rosé.”

The Balthazar 2020 range will be great for most of the wines, such as Petit Balthazar white, rosé and red, Viognier Cuvée Balthazar and Le Grand Balthazar, and there is an HVE (High Environmental Value) certification from sustainable farming. Another surprise this year with a Bio Balthazar Minervois AOP white (organic certified) with a blend of Vermentino/Grenache blanc/Marsanne. Watch this space!

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