Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vintage 2005
High but not excessive temperatures, constant sunshine, Mistral and fresh nights during summer are the key factors which have given birth to a wonderful 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape vintage.
FEW METEOROLOGICAL DATAS
With only 12,5 mm of rain during the months of July and August, 2005 is a record year in a matter of drought, like were 2004 and 2003. During the last century, only 12 years have had an inferior pluviometry level.
The average temperature during the months of June, July and August was set up at 23.4°c, with 46 days of stiff heat (higher temperature than 30°c) versus 92 in 2003 !
This difference explains, among other things, that the veraison of the berries happenned 10 days later than in 2003, which was a year marked everywhere in France by an extreme earliness.
Nocturnal temperatures of July and August were under 17°c, and sometimes dropped down to 9°c. With a day temperature often beyond 30°c, the difference between day and night, necessary for a good maturation of the grape, was then optimum. It is important to note that the nights’ freshness has permitted to optimize the photosynthesis’ dark phase, and so has preserved the berries’ acidity level.
2005 is also a most windy year. The Mistral, generally quite fresh, enabled to reduce the resulted damp of the 6 September's rain (50 mm), and contributed to maintain a perfect sanitary state for the grape.
The harvested grapes of 2005 are characterised by a very good balance between acidity and sugar, an excellent phenolic maturity, expressive aromas and a deep colour, especially on the Grenache. In comparison with 2004, the grapes maturity was accomplished with one week beforehand, and for some vine-plants at the same period of time. Therefore the harvest had begun in excellent conditions the day following the “Ban des Vendanges”, proclamed on the 9th of September in the Cellar of Châteauneuf-du-Pape castle.
ORGANOLEPTIC PROFILE OF THE WINES
Châteauneuf-du-Pape white wines are very balanced. Those elaborated on a base of Grenache or of Roussanne have a rich balance but freshness and a beautifull profile with floral (flowers of cherry-trees) and fruity fragrances (citrus fruits, apricot). The Clairette, harvested very ripe, is concentrated nonetheless it remains elegant.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wines are once again marked by the stamp of the Grenache grape which has seen in 2005 the combination of exceptional benefic factors to express its whole qualitative potential.
The wines are very dark, with deep colours. Beautiful concentrations have been obtained on a majority of the vineyard, more especially for Grenache and Mourvèdre.
So the wines are generally complex, generous, with crystallized fruits, prune, liquorice and torrefaction scents for the aromatic point of view. The mouth balance is characterised by fullness, structure, and well coated tannins.
As it was the case for the previous vintages, the 2005 harvest is below the decennial average production with only 97.000 hectolitres (of which 91.000 hl of red and 6.000 hl of white). And so an average yield of 31 hl / ha for the entire appellation.
This low yield and optimum, indeed, exceptionnally good, climatic conditions, contributed in a large measure to the excellent quality of the rich, gourmand, very well-balanced Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005 vintage, which is certainly endowed with a long lasting potential.