The 2018 vintage in Beaujolais
After two very heterogeneous vintages due to climatic calamities (hail), 2018 is the vintage so much hoped for by all winegrowers, a vintage that combines quality and quantity. The weather conditions in the summer were almost ideal.
The vineyard in 2018
The very rainy winter (around 450 mm of precipitation between December and March) allowed the soils to store water before bud burst, which proved to be very useful for the future. March ending cold, we have to wait until the first days of April and a rise in temperatures for the vines to resume their activity. Most of the vines open around April 20, a week behind the average for the last 20 years. Temperatures remain high until the end of April and the growth is explosive, the delay in budding is already resumed at the beginning of May.
The month of May is generally mild and not very humid, which means that the vine grows quickly. The first flowers appear around May 25 and flowering ends quickly (6 days on average), in the first days of June.
All the lights are green, the number of bunches per vine is high and the promise of a generous vintage is emerging, except for climatic catastrophes… which will not take place.
The first half of June brings abundant rain, which allows the vines to develop beautiful foliage and to last most of the summer, because it will hardly rain between June 12 and August 6; thanks to the end of the rains in mid-June, there are hardly any attacks of mildew.
Summer is hot and very sunny; temperatures are however rarely scorching (only one episode lasting a few days between August 2 and 6). The rain returns just when it is needed (30 mm between August 7 and 9), to bring to the surface soils the water necessary for the balance of the vines and the good ripening of the berries.
Quality of the 2018 harvest
The last 20 days before the harvest are beautiful, hot and dry, and logically marked by rapid ripening of the grapes; the malic acid contents decrease sharply, however, the tartaric acid contents are maintained, allowing the grapes to maintain a good balance.
In our area, the harvest began in early September. It rains very little in the 3 weeks of the harvest and the temperatures remain hot, with maximums between 24 and 32 °, which accelerates the maturity of the grapes and complicates the end of the harvest to collect each plot on time.
Thus, the 2018 vintage is characterized by its precocity, its generous volume and the very good quality of its grapes.
The wines of 2018
The first quality of the wines this year is undeniably the fruit. The wines are very expressive, the intoxicating aromas of ripe fruit seduce at first glance.