Rhone Vintage Report

Les Chemins de Sève (Cairanne and Côtes du Rhone Villages), Loïc Massart

The new vintage is in the cellar and still bodes well for promising cuvées! Despite the complicated situation, a great team of grape pickers, both novices and experienced, were there between two COVID confinements… We thank them again for their motivation. The health crisis is slowing down sales and clouding our commercial visions in the short and medium term; in fact, a large part of the 2019 vintage was still in the cellar, while the 2020 grapes were already entering. Though sometimes a very complicated set of circumstances results in everything happening at the right time and in the right place!

No tele-harvest!

The 2020 harvest took place in the usual good humor, despite the COVID atmosphere hovering over us, requiring us to make special arrangements. The harvest is healthy and nicely fruity. The yield could have been better if the frost had not disrupted the budding buds in March. Vinifications occurred at 100%! The vinification continues satisfactorily and without sulphites for the reds. The wines are presenting very pleasantly on tasting and analytically. Only the white Cairanne in barrels is really taking its time, it has not yet finished its sugars!

An Autumn that was wet and confined...

Autumn colors arrived in the vineyard after very significant threat from summer mildew. The post-harvest mildew no longer harms the fruit, but attacks the leaves and disrupts end-of-season storage, before winter, by prematurely destroying the organs that are still green, but without endangering the established plant.

Plantier of grenache, carignan and clairette rose

The new plot withstood the summer drought with only 3 good waterings and two hoeings at each plant to avoid competition from weeds, which are harmful to these very young vines. However, a clear outbreak of mosaic mildew on the leaves appeared during the heavy rains in September…

After postponements linked to the COVID period of spring, the 2019 bottling was carried out just in time to release the vats needed for the incoming harvest! We used, for the first time, the new syndicate bottle with the Cairanne coat of arms.

Domaine de Berane (Côtes du Ventoux), Bertrand Ferary

We had a wonderful harvest 2020 with very good conditions due to relatively regular summer temperatures. Fermentations have been lasting a little bit longer than usual, but as a result, we have more intense aromas, color and tannins.

2020 should be a millenium equivalent to 2015 including all the power and finesse that we seek in our wines. As you know so well, it is the quality of the grapes that determine the vintage, despite the skills of the winemaker.


Domaine Stéphane Otheguy (Côte Rotie)

After a hot year, without frost or hail, with lots of wind and little rain. Again another year with very little treatment ( 2 maximum per parcel).

Harvests took place during lovely sunny weather.

Excellent level of quantity and quality, for all parcels.

The degrees have (again) reached record levels.

Domaine de Berane (Côtes du Ventoux), Bertrand Ferary :

We had quite a few suprises in 2019.

We grow Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. And for 19 years we have been harvesting them in that chronological order. For the first time Grenache matured before the Syrah. Incredible! In addition, maturities were blocked.

One of the causes is that we had the hottest summer in Provence since 2003. The grape skins were very thick, natures reaction to protect the pulp from dehydration, preserving its own production. We did reach normal quantites, with wonderful deep color, with higher degrees than usual.

We are performing many “déléstages” (multiple rackings of juice during fermentation and maceration, a process that aerates the juice and softens it by lessening time spent in contact with skins). And, hard to believe, for the first time, our Syrah and Mourvedre tanks have still not finished fermenting in early November. We expect they will have finished in a week. With this careful vinification, 2019 should be an excellent vintage.


Domaine Stéphane Otheguy (Côte Rotie)

The 2018 vintage here, while a hot vintage, is also a quite balanced one. We had a cool, wet spring, which lasted for a long while. However, lots of wind, from both the North and the South, protected the vines.

Following, everything happened quickly, fruit set, ripening onset, grape maturity. Harvesting ws also quick, taking place around the 20th of September. Very few treatments: 1-3 maximum. Though the end of August was dry, the vines suffered less than in 2017.

Domaine les Ondines (Vacqueyras) Jeremy Ondes

The 2018 vintage was a particularly low yielding vintage due to the incessant rains during flowering.The vintage was however abundant in syrah, and of quite lovely quality.The whites are aromatic and in good quantity.

Domaine Stéphane Otheguy (Cote Rotie)

A very wet Spring, a not very hot summer, except for the end of August, though, as the days became shorter. Here in the north of the Rhone Valley, we were spared frost and hail. That rendered a vintage of decent volume and wines of more finesse than 2015, alcohol levels around 12%. The cold entered the cellars quickly following, the malos will happen in the Spring.

Domaine les Ondines (Vacqueyras), Jeremy Ondes

An excellent vintage full of black fruits with a balance of acidity and tannins, even more beautiful than 2015 Vacqueyras! A bit more alcohol with a very rich texture. The yields are the same as 2015! Great wines to come!

Domaine Stephane Otheguy (Cote Rotie)

Concerning 2015 : good rainy Spring, a very hot summer with rain from the beginning of July until August 10th, allowing the vines a good start off in their development towards an excellent maturity.

From this perspective, powerful wines!!

Domaine les Ondines (Vaqueyras), Jeremy Ondes

The 2015 vintage is proving to be very good at Domaine les Ondines :

A healthy and ripe crop supplied the matter and potential for the elaboration of complex white wines and red wines with very fruity aromas.

It was a short duration harvest, with no rainy days to interrupt the team’s work. In addition, the arrival of new wooden tronconique cone-shaped fermenting vats and wooden foudres will bring the necessary touch to soften this years red wine.The characteristics of the 2015 wines at Ondines are :

White Wine:

Spontaneous fermentation took place over a long duration, especially the Vaqueras blanc. As a result, the nose will be more discreet than last year’s. On the other hand the white wines posess a great aromatic complexity : fruity, floral and spicy. A frequent stirring of the lees increases the richness on the palate and the length of finish.

Rosé Wine:

The rosé wines have a very amylic nose (banana, English bon-bons) due to fermentation at low temperature resulting in the “re-suspension” of the lees. Very fresh and fruity wines.

Red Wine:

Ripe and impeccably healthy red grapes, allowing for better extractions from the berries themselves, the different varieties and of the terroir.

We thus have wines whose expression is dominated by ripe fruit. These wines will be accessible to all, initiates to wine, wine enthusiasts and those who are passionate wine consumers