The vine is a resilient plant that likes heat. During the summer of 2022, the weather conditions were favorable, thanks to very sunny days and little rain, which can be a vector for diseases and even parasites. Most of the winemakers expect that the 2022 vintage will be exceptional, because initial checks indicate excellent, high acid contents on the red wines as a sign of great maturity.
At Chateau le Pin Beausoleil, the harvest 2022 began earlier than in most years, starting on the 12 September with the Merlots of the younger vines. The last grapes were harvested in a joint, very pleasant effort that brought a group of friends to the vineyard on the 29 September, at cool temperatures and dry conditions, after a few days of rainfall which helped to increase the volume of the grapes.
On the day thereafter, the harvest was celebrated with a festive meal (fête de vendange) for the seasonal workers and entire staff of the chateau. This wonderful evening was crowned by a spectacular meal prepared by the incomparable chief Stivie Kimmig, who joined us for this event from Cologne.
After the harvest, a gentle extraction was performed using the techniques of pumping (“remontage”) and punching (“pigeage”) during alcoholic fermentation to preserve the freshness of the wines. As the berries were small with little juice and thick skins, there was naturally a very different ratio of marc to juice than in other years.
The pips were exceptionally ripe this year on all varieties from the Merlots to the Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon. This will add soft, sweet tannins and an aromatic palette reminiscent of toasted pine nuts. The aromatic profile is much fresher than we would have anticipated, in particular on the clay-limestone soils. There is a lot of freshness and energy in the wines obtained without the impact of heat. “It is more a vintage of light than a vintage of heat”, says Julien Lavenu from Vignerons Consultants.
What can we say about this vintage at the Chateau le Pin Beausoleil at this point? We think it has all the ingredients for one of the best vintages ever produced at our chateau: Perfect maturity of all the grapes of all varieties including the Cabernet Francs. Sugar and subsequent alcohol levels were at 15°. The volumes per hectare range between 30-35 hl and are hence smaller than in most years, because of draught and dryness with a lack of rainfalls between July and the first part of September.
Taken together, the 2022 is programmed at the Pin Beausoleil for a great wine of long guard and with rich, fully developed body and aromas. The current work in the cellar is meant to unfold this potential and to create a wine that will create pleasure for decades to come.