Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2018, Ripeness and balance

The 2017 vintage, exceptional in many ways, was the fruit of a year of climate records and had brought hope of a return to normality. It didn’t happen though. One must go back several decades to find such a rainy spring. Cumulative rainfall reached 833 mm over the first 10 months of 2018, vs. 206 mm in 2017, an exceptionally dry year. Fortunately, we were spared the traditional September equinox rain (5 mm only), thus allowing the wine growers to harvest in total peace of mind until late autumn.

The 2018 Châteauneuf-du-Pape reds and whites have been produced from grapes that presented excellent sanitary conditions, they are characterised by optimal ripeness and a nice length on the palate.


With a total rainfall of 520 mm during the growing season (identical to 2013) and the sum of temperatures -base 10°C -reaching 2252 over the period from 1st March to 30th September (vs. 2180 in 2017 and 2055 in 2016), this year witnessed outbreaks of mildew, among the most important in the last few years. That is to say that the spring was not a relaxing walk in the park for the winegrowers who had to exercise caution and anticipation so as not to let the “pseudo-fungi” win over and cause significant loss to the harvest, as might have been the case in some places.

Fortunately, the high summer temperatures (11 days with temperatures over 35°C in August) and the mild September nights contributed to excellent quality grapes. Early maturation and thick skins characterized the red varietals, and particularly grenache; these were vinified in a continued effort to respect aromatic and polyphenolic potentials during extraction. Mid-November, as the Provence Indian summer was not yet over, not all grape marcs had been pressed and the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations were ending smoothly.

Taste profile on the fruity side

The Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites are rich, with a long finish, and they are marked by aromas of citrus fruit (lime), exotic and white fruit. Some reveal notes of aniseed. The reds express aromas of raspberry, blackcurrant, prune and ginger. The tannins are silky and round. The finish is long and velvety, to a level equivalent to that of the 2007 vintage that is today appreciated for its greatness and ageing potential. Acidity levels are not very high and alcoholic degrees are moderate.

In 2019, we shall celebrate the 10th « Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape » fair. 10 years of happiness, shared pleasures, meetings with wine growers, masterclasses and unforgettable evenings… Come and meet us on 6 & 7 April, place de la Renaissance. Besides, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation will also be associated to the first “Wine Ways Festival around Avignon” that will take place on 31st May and 1st June 2019.