[:en]The growing year started well with good rainfall and some cold sharp frosts. The sunshine arrived in March with temperatures slightly above average and rainfall levels less than half the average of the past 30 years.
In the vineyards, bud burst began at the end of the month and although April was mild and rainy, things continued well. Initially, May brought fine weather with summery temperatures and a lot of sunshine, but then a series of violent hailstorms hit Bordeaux on 11th, 13th and 25th of May. Fortunately we were not affected at all here at Clos Cantenac.
Flowering was well underway by the end of May and had successfully finished by mid June, which was a dry, warm month with a remarkable amount of sunshine and temperatures some 2 degrees higher than usual.
July and August also brought high temperatures and long hours of sunshine with the good weather flowing into September, the alternation between cool nights and warm daytime temperatures encouraging the concentration of aromas and an increase in anthocyanins.
We eventually commenced harvest on 24th September, starting with the older Merlot vines and then the younger Merlot plots the following day. The fruit was in remarkable condition, in tight small bunches of perfectly ripe and even grapes.
Meanwhile, as the fine weather continued over the next few days, we decided to wait until 30th September to pick the last of the older Merlot and start the Cabernet, which we finished on Thursday 1st October.