Wine growers in the three appellations can give themselves a pat on the back, according to the Saint-Emilion Wine Council, considering the challenging weather they had to contend with throughout the year. Spring and the beginning of summer brought cool, wet weather whilst the second half of the summer was very sunny, hot and dry, leading to a dearth of water resources. September and October, however, allayed initial fears for the vintage with mild weather, closer to seasonal averages. Harvesting began at the end of September and carried on through to the end of October with sunshine throughout. Amongst the other positive points highlighted by the Council in its review are the significant differences in day and night time temperatures which promoted concentration and preserved aroma in the grape skins.
Throughout the year, wine growers had to react quickly to changing temperatures and weather conditions, adapting techniques to ensure that the threat of disease was properly managed and ripening was promoted. But according to the Council, their efforts have paid off: “undeniably, the quality of the wines to date is on a par with the painstaking work and relentless attention in the vineyards… The early-maturing sites of Saint-Emilion – Pomerol – Fronsac allowed the Merlot grapes to ripen well so that they were harvested before the weather took a turn for the worse at the end of October”.
Buyers and wine lovers will get their first taste of wines from the 2012 vintage during the ‘en primeur’ presentations scheduled for April 8-11, 2013 in Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac.