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Beaune Les Avaux

harvest 2012: a basic summary

Last year it was relatively easy to make some broad-brush descriptions of the vintage. This year it really isn’t so easy. The growing season has delivered very little consistency in terms of yield – it’s very low but not consistently-so. Poor weather at flowering was the starting point, followed by frosts, constant rain, then later came occasional hail and the concomitant disease pressure that made life harder, day by day. The only ‘given’ was that the Côte de Nuits suffered less than the Côte de Beaune. Some parcels have come close to delivering a ‘normal’ yield, while neighbouring vines have offered nothing – for example Jean-Marc Roulot has 50% less volume in 2012 and decided not to bother harvesting 45 small parcels! Meursault certainly suffered, [....]

naked virgins…

We crush the whites by foot before pressing. Note they are crushed by naked virgins, something few wineries still do. twitter.com/JeremySeysses/… — Jeremy Seysses (@JeremySeysses) September 30, 2012

ramonet 2010 chassagne 1er clos de la boudriotte

2010 Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Clos de la Boudriotte Deep, slightly roast red fruit with low-level but pungent Chassagne herb impression. In the mouth this has concentration and a slowly increasing intensity that follows the wouth-watering acidity. The flavour has a very pretty and super-clear fruit tone – but has just a hint of tartness too, despite a reasonably sweet background. Rebuy – Maybe

harvest: september 28th

harvest: september 28th

I understand that the Clos de Tart has just started its harvest today, whilst the home domaine is still waiting for their last grapes from the 2012 campaign – Chambertin – they will be picked this afternoon, but that will be too late for me as I’m heading home tonight. The grapes will be quite warm once picked – did I mention that Friday is a dry(!), beautifully sunny and deceptively warm (19°C) day? – so will spend the night in a cooler-van, waiting to be triaged on Saturday morning. A stroke of luck for the home team is a new contract for Chablis Bougros – particularly with grape volumes being about 40% down. There could have been more grapes, but despite coming from a [....]

harvest: september 27th

harvest: september 27th

The home domaine was on a fruitless day – still no decision on when the Chambertin would be picked – so I accepted an invitation to help at Chandon de Briailles. The domaine has, so-far, brought in about half their fruit – all the whites are done – today we were going to do a bit of work on their Ile de Vergelesses. Chandon prefer to do their triage at the vine, so picking is a longer process than at most domaines, of-course on the other-hand, things are quicker once the fruit reaches the domaine as there is no rolling triage table, just the decision whether to put the fruit through the destemmer or directly into the tank! The Ile de Vergelesses was very good [....]

harvest: september 26th

harvest: september 26th

To a soundtrack of Johnny Cash and Massive Attack we make our own attack on the grapes of Lavaux St.Jacques and Maranges Croix de Moines – happy under our cover from incessant rain. [Edit: The rain lasted for 30 hours, delivering 50mm!] The Gevrey is lovely – we use about one-third whole clusters – and even the other two-thirds from this produce of a lovely old-vine selection needs not much more than a cursory trie. Then we have the big cuvée of Maranges which will take us right up to lunch to finish the triage. If it hadn’t been for the rain, these would have been left on the vine a couple of days longer – and it’s easy to see why – a mix [....]

Volnay Santenots

harvest: september 25th

Too true. This morning we have managed to keep completely dry, despite a little rain in some parts of the Côtes. Lots of grapes to pick today as the forecast is rather bad for tommorrow. People are racing against the elements… Our grapes today have been against (my) expectations – in both directions! Opening with Volnay Santenots and based on so many problems in the area, including a few who didn’t even bother to harvest, we have some lovely grapes. I suppose the appellation is over 30 hectares and ours, at least, had reasonqable yields and nice bunch confirmations. The Corton Clos du Roi that followed was less good; admitedly there was little to triage, but the berry size was quite large. After lunch – [....]

The aftermath!

harvest: september 24th

There was a lot of rain overnight, fortunately the daytime was drier. The morning was punctuated by some heavy bursts, but only for 10-15 minutes at time – p.m. was mainly dry. Our first grapes of the day were from the Santenay 1er of La Comme – quite a bit of triage needed here – hailed berries, botrytis, etc. – about a 2007 level of triage rather than (worse) 2004, our team boss said these were the worst grapes of the vintage so far. Next-up was Vosne villages: the old vines have produced clean, lovely millerandes (like every year), only the younger vines had fatter berries and needed a little more triage – a decent percentage of perfect clusters were used for the cuvée. Then [....]

ramonet 2010 bourgogne pinot noir

ramonet 2010 bourgogne pinot noir

2010 Ramonet, Bourgogne Pinot Noir ‘Nomacorked’. Medium, medium-plus colour. Quite high toned fruit but with a dark-skinned cherry impression. Whilst the 09 was a bit of a triumph chez Ramonet, this is a wine that is just a little mouth-puckering. Fresh it is though, and with a nice intensity too – I’d definitely want some food as a foil to this, though. Rebuy – Maybe

Cuvee-Alexandrine
Courtesy Alexandrine Roy

harvest: a few more notes

Starting with bit of an advertorial from François Labet at Château La Tour in the Clos de Vougeot. We just started slowly and our forecast looks quite accurate. We picked yesterday the young vines replanted in the Vieilles Vignes plots at Chateau de la Tour. We expect to produce about 50% of a normal harvest!!! fortunately the buckets of sorted fruits are quite empty as the grapes used are ripe and clean. This will enable us to produce a great vintage. There will certainly be a Cuvée Hommage in 2012 !! François Labet, this morning Ça y est c est parti ! Gros score hier au nombre de parcelle , clos des angles , pommard fremiers , jarolieres , chanlins, volnay fremiets , cailleret , [....]

harvest: rain today…

Starting with two views… Miserable day in Burgundy. Rain overnight and drizzling now. Not good for the grapes. — Nayan Gowda (@vinosity) September 22, 2012 Rainfall from yest to this morning. 32mm in Savigny, 22mm in Volnay.Given the drought in the past5 weeks, I think the vines can take it. — TomokoKuriyama (@TomokoKuriyama) September 22, 2012 Les Tessons ce matin à 9 heures. Petite récolte et tri drastique sur la table… twitter.com/Patrick_Essa/s… — Patrick Essa (@Patrick_Essa) September 22, 2012

Beaune Premier Cru Perrieres
Courtesy Louis Latour

harvest time…

At the home domaine anyway! Today was the home-team’s start (ignoring a little bourgogne blanc must, already delivered) with grapes arriving from Beaune 1er Cras, Savigny 1er Les Peuillets and Aloxe 1er Les Valozières. ‘The Boss’ notes: Honestly, it looks good – I’m surprised to be happy! I’ve delayed as much as possible, but these vineyards (at least) are quite easy to triage – just some dried grapes from either hail or sunburn. So-far we’ve had no botrytis to remove, the grapes arriving this morning were cold and firm – it was around 5°C when they were picked. Of-course, every vineyard is different: some of my usual contracts I’ll walk away from due to pretty awful fruit. On the other hand some of my usual [....]

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