Chateau Haut-Brion, 2006 Harvest chronicles, 2006 vintage, Bordeaux wines, Pessac Leognan Graves


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Harvest chronicles at Haut-Brion


> It is totally premature to assess the quality of the vintage at this early stage. Nevertheless we find interesting to read the producer's reports on recent harvests and how they evaluate the potential of their 2006 Bordeaux wines.

> Chateau Haut-Brion - Jean-Philippe Delmas 


Chateau Haut Brion's cask room

Harvest Chronicles at Chateau Haut-Brion - Pessac-Leognan-Graves


Haut-Brion 2006: a year of contrasts and extremes
We have finished harvesting our grapes at Haut-Brion on September 29th, 2006! It has now been one month since we started the meticulous harvesting of our vineyards vine by vine, plot by plot. 

The harvest at Haut-Brion started on August 29th with the picking of our white grapes. We started with the Sauvignons and followed on with the Semillons on September 4th. After this, we began harvesting our red grapes beginning with the Merlots on September 7th and continuing on with the Cabernet Francs on September 18th. On September 21st .we began picking the Cabernet Sauvignons 

Each year is different from the previous. After 2005, a year of great heat and drought, the staff at Haut-Brion had to deal with a completely different type of vintage. 2006 was characterized by frequent climactic changes shifting from one extreme to another. And this pattern continued on until the end of the harvest at Haut-Brion

The direct consequences of such a climactic variability is a potential of added frailty in the grape cluster due to the growth in the plant and the irregularity of the ripening.

The role of the grower is to allow the grapes to reach optimal maturity in the most favourable conditions. It is true that the work for the technical staff at Haut-Brion was not easy this year and yet our success remained attainable. In order to succeed we needed to accomplish an enormous amount of work in the vines of the Haut-Brion estate: we started with an early thinning of the leaves on the cooler side of the vines by the end of June, followed by a green harvest, for the purpose was to lessen the load on the vine and improve the balance and the air circulation. Later, a second thinning out of leaves was carried out. This required great care so as not to damage the remaining berries. Last but not least man plays an essential role in the sorting of the grapes during harvest time. In a complicated year such as 2006, such a level of care becomes particularly crucial to produce Haut-Brion's great wine.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the hundred, or so, seasonal workers who stood with us at Haut-Brion for a long period of at least three months while we were waiting for the optimum moments for the picking of each varietal and each plot of Haut-Brion.

Therefore, thanks to the great preparation and work on the sorting tables in the vineyards, the technical staff working in Haut-Brion's vat room was able to witness the arrival of the containers for perfectly healthy ripe grapes.

The Merlots are currently in the final phase of their fermentation at Haut-Brion and we are surprised by their density in color and by the high degrees in alcohol reached as well as their strong tannic structure

As for Cabernet Francs and Sauvignons at Haut-Brion, which are still fermenting at this hour, we will let you know how they evolve in due course.

Today, on Tuesday, October 3rd, we were surprised in the early hours by a huge storm which approached in intensity the one that hit us in 1999. Fortunately, the ferocity of the winds did not last as long as in 1999. However, it was sufficiently strong to bring down quite a number of trees in the park and gardens of Chateau Haut-Brion as well as some at Château La Mission Haut-Brion. It goes without saying that we were very much relieved to have had the entire 2006 crop already resting in the vat room! 

Jean-Philippe Delmas Chateau Haut-Brion

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Bordeaux 2006: from May-June 2007, follow the vintage score update at our "TOP" heading



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Chateau Haut-Brion, harvest chronicle




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