We've had it all: hot, cold; dry, wet; nice, nasty. The lead-up to the 2009 harvest has run us through hoops, but here we are - right on the cusp of the new vintage, and it looks … brilliant! All that was lacking was a bit of water, so we asked nicely and we got what we wanted: 16 mm's last week, just what the doctor ordered, and exactly what the vines need for a comfortable cruise right up to the end of the harvest. We will be starting next week, so please keep your fingers crossed that this boundless brilliance of blue skies overhead will continue smiling down on us for the next four weeks.

If what has been has any positive influence on what is to be, then we're doubly happy with our past vintages which feature so expansively in the brand-new range of 2010 wine guides just published this month. The famous Green Guide to the best wines of France ( Les Meilleurs Vins de France), its complimentary Red Guide to the best wines at the best prices (Les Meilleurs Vins à Petits Prix) and its competitor, the Grand Guide des Vins de France by the famous wine-writing duo Bettane & Desseauve , all had a (very) good word for a broad selection of 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 wines from Rives-Blanques.

But the word we wait for with burning interest comes from the lips of the most famous woman on planet wine: Jancis Robinson , who came to Rives-Blanques last week and spent a morning in our tasting room caught between our stunning view and our stunning wines … not just Rives-Blanques wines, but also those of a number of small, quality Limoux producers who work in the shadow of a dominant and sometimes domineering Wine Co-operative. This was a big event for a small appellation, and positively stratospheric for us. But as for what she thought of the wines … we just have to wait and see.

What we're waiting to see with undisguised impatience is what the harvest will bring. Don't like tempting the gods, but it's probably fair to say that 2009 is shaping up to be a very good, possibly great, millésime. Throughout the appellation, the grapes are in fantastic condition, and up here at Rives-Blanques, they're positively bursting with health. Yields, particularly of the chardonnay, seem to be somewhat down on last year, but that's no surprise: Nature has a heavy foot, and she puts it down from time to time. For those who want to share the pain, there will be a complete harvest report up on our website's Diary of a Vineyard ...



And for those who don't, there's an abbreviated version on if we cn evr remmbr to fnd the tme & the tekniek…. we'll also B bk this time nxt mnth with more,
unls U clk on