Young plants on sandy soils are struggling. Water stress affects the ripening process. Their roots are not developed enough to reach groundwater. Older vines on the other hand are not in danger. Root systems well implanted in our gravely soils will easily find all the resources they need for their proper development. We must say that the water reserves are in pretty good shape. We observe the foliage of each plot. Healthy canopy is essential for the photosynthesis and thus for the fruit quality, seeing such green leaves put a smile on our faces.
Young plants, exposed vines at row ends and some plots of Merlots suffer sunburns. The skin of those scalded grapes is fragile, it loses its elasticity. On September 13rd after more than two months without a single drop of water our weather station recorded 36mm of rain. The grapes swell, a Merlot bleeds, the berries with copper color break easily out between your fingers.
Under the action of sun and wind, these berries imperceptibly spit are concentrating, they develop aromas of fig, plum and currants. Worried about preserving the aromatic freshness dear to us, tasting the grapes leads us to take an unprecedented decision in the history of Rauzan-Ségla: Merlots will be harvested in two sorting. Without delay, we train our teams. A first troop walks the rows and select tired clusters which will be vinified separately. Each time, they also drop dry or burnt berries which would never leave their land. Then a second team picks the remaining grapes, nice and juicy, they have a great freshness and the seeds have a nutty flavor.