Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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French term, commonly used by English speakers too, for one form of poor fruit set in the grapevine. Excessive shedding of ovaries and young berries results in relatively few berries per bunch, either during or soon after flowering. To a great extent, coulure is a natural and necessary phenomenon, since the vine cannot possibly ripen the crop if all the flowers remained as berries. However, for some varieties in some years, coulure can be excessive and yield drastically reduced. Excessive coulure can have a disastrous effect on grape-growers’ incomes, and can also affect grape supply and wine prices in certain years. grenache vines are particularly susceptible to coulure, as are malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot.