With all the wines in the cellar following the harvest, we asked Mathieu to give an insight in to the 2018 vintage at Domaine du Grand Mayne:-
Every time I have a baby, we have a difficult vintage! And from January to September, i was again sure of it. My first son, Baptiste was born in 2013 which was a vintage with lot of rain, and a strong hailstorm during the harvest. Despite that we made some good wines and especially the reserve white and I’ve kept some for his 18th birthday. My second son Camille came at the end of June.
So 2018 started with lot of rain from January to early July. It just didn’t seem to stop. Rain, rain and more rain. It was difficult to manage the pressure of disease in the vineyard (which resulted in a serious loss on Merlot), and difficult for the vineyard workers and the mind of all of us. It was a very hard few months. And then a day after the rain stopped, came hot and dry weather without a drop more rain from July to September which saved the vintage after the horrible start. But this too was very hard to manage.
Then came the harvest. I always change my mind several times during the harvest but never as much as this year. We started with a crazy rush with all the whites maturing at the same time. And then the waiting for the reds.
The level of sugar of the Merlot was going up strongly but the skins were not matured yet. Do we pick the grapes because the level of sugar is high or do we wait for matured skin?
As a huge part of the quality of a red is in the skin, we decided to wait. And as I always say the level of sugar and the level of acidity are just one part of the quality of a berry. The most important is the balance and the quality of the skin.
So without a lot of questions in our heads, we changed our mind several time, sometimes 3 or 4 times in the same day. But at the end, I think we took the right decision. The work in the cellar was done well to extract the best without extracting the hardest tannins and the result will be very good.
And it’s in this kind of vintage that we recognize the best terroirs because at the end, despite all these difficulties, the wines are fabulous.
The whites and rosé are very well balanced with a beautiful freshness. And the reds are reacting very well in the cellar. Even the Merlot that I felt earlier to be not sensational is looking good. In fact all the wines are a really good surprise, with beautiful balances and structure.
It was hard work all year for all the team here but worth it!