A few words from Jean-Christophe Meyrou , general manager at Château Tour Saint-Christophe on the 2019 vintage.
How did you cope with the long dry periods and the rain at harvest in 2019?
We are lucky to have mostly clay and limestone soils. This terroir has a fantastic reaction during very dry and warm periods. What’s more, during the summer we had extremely warm days but the nights were very fresh.
The only problem was the very high alcohol potential at the start of September. The rains were very welcome to reduce this very high alcohol potential. It is the first time of my career that I am glad to have rain during harvest.
The weather allowed us to harvest à la carte with greater freshness in some parcels and more maturity in other. It was important not to wait too long for Merlot in order to avoid overmatured flavors.
Based on the fruit that nature provided, how did you adapt your winemaking?
While the rain helped us to have lower alcohols, the key of this vintage was extraction. In fact, in most of the vats there was no need for extraction. The potential was already there. It was important to respect this in order to reach a great balance.
What defines the blend and the style of the wine this year?
For both Merlot and Cabernet, 2019 is synonymous of good balance and purity of the fruit. Personally, this vintage is an ‘in between’ of 2015 and 2016 in terms of style.
Bordeaux has been investing in making its vineyards more environmentally friendly recently. How does this translate at Château Saint Christophe?
Like many other estates we are now HVE3 (HVE stands for High Environmental Values). This is a very important topic but many people are using it only as a marketing tool. We invest a lot of our time and money to find the best and most pragmatic approach with our vineyard, given our very specific climate.
Read the full report: Bordeaux 2019 A Vintage Preview