With a few caveats, 2015 was an excellent year for both white and red wines. The winter of 2014/15 was colder than average, but unlike the winter of 2013/14, there was no vine or bud damage. Bud break was slightly late. May was unusually dry and consequentially accelerated growth and flowering. Right around flowering June turned very wet, however pollination and berry set was successful, as temperatures remained warm.
Wet spells continued into July and we were bracing ourselves for a possible negative impact on wine quality. The rains stopped in mid-July, but shoot growth continued into early August, which is later than ideal. With a very dry August, vine growth stopped and vines were in good balance going into harvest.
September gave us ideal conditions for ripening. Threats of rain never came to fruition. Harvest was compressed with never a day off. The white grapes along with Merlot and Cabernet Franc came in balanced with great extract and concentration. However rains in late September forced an early picking of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, much of which lacked the ripeness and concentration of the earlier ripening Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
The two stars of the vintage were Chardonnay and Merlot, which were able to take full advantage of glorious September days, and were safely on the cellar before any rains began.