We’ve just bottled the 2018 vintage of Solière and are tickled pink with it! Every year has its climatological challenges – there is almost never a year when something unexpected doesn’t happen with the weather. In 2017, Provence experienced a drought, with a record-breaking 189 days in a row without rain on our vineyard. 2018 was the opposite, with abundant rains in winter and spring, and even some thunderstorms in the summer.
The rains lent a generous leaf canopy to the vines – the more leaves there are, the more photosynthesis the vine can perform to nourish the grapes. So, this was welcome. On the other hand, the rains in late spring in summer when the weather was warm, combined with a mistral that was less frequent than usual (the mistral is a dry, northerly wind that helps keep the grapes dry and healthy), made the vines across Provence susceptible to mildew. The mildew affected some producers more severely than others. Thankfully, we were able to contain the issue at our domain through careful vineyard management.
At the same time, the veraison (fruit ripening) period and harvest season were ideal: warm and dry with excellent diurnal temperature variation, allowing for the perfect maturation of each type of grape variety, as well as a beautiful balance of sugar content and acidity.
The resulting rosé is simply gorgeous, with a complex, fruity nose: green apple, tropical fruits, and red berries, plus notes of marshmallow and white flowers. On the palate, a refreshing acidity is rounded out by mineral notes. Solière 2018 is a lovely rosé that will brighten up any occasion.