Friday: As the harvest closes we can now take time out to eat cake!
There was a chance for some sorting on Saturday and Sunday, but given perfect harvest conditions in the last few days coupled with a forecast for rain at the weekend, people have worked double-time and are aiming to finish (probably late) today. So I won’t go this weekend.
Yesterday’s grapes from Charmes-Chambertin went through the triage table very easily, and today the Gevrey-Chambertin and Latricières-Chambertin likewise – and that’s quite an acheivement given that the grapes from this grower are not usually the best, but this year the Latricières was better than 2005. As I’m typing this the Chambertin grapes are being picked and should arrive at the domaine in the early evening – these will be the last arrivals apart for some Hautes Côtes de Beaune later next week.
This producer (at least) feels so much happier after the Côte de Nuits harvest than he did after the Côte de Beaune. He heard from a friend that August gave the Côte de Beaune three times more rain (100mm) than the Côte de Nuits (30mm) – this (we) he has to check – but if so, it amply shows why there was more rot in the south.
So 2006 in summary: Potentially very good whites. Côte de Beaune reds (the grapes) closer to 2004 than 2005 quality. Corton seems to have had excellent quality grapes of both colours. Côte de Nuits grapes (on average) slightly below 2005 quality, but in some places higher. For the wines we will have to wait a little. It was a mix of hot and cold during the year so this will hopefully provide a full spectrum of flavours – I can’t wait!
PS What better post-script than to have the words of Aubert de Villaine:
Concernant les vendanges, nous ne sommes pas du tout déçus. Nous avons récolté des raisins à haute maturité (avec des teneurs en sucre parmi les plus élevées de ces dernières années) et nous avons réussi à mettre en place un tri proche de la perfection ! Je suis optimiste quant au résultat.
Or, if you prefer, my reprehensible attempt at translation:
Concerning the grape harvest, we are not at all disappointed. We collected grapes with high maturity (sugar contents were among highest of recent years) and with sorting we came close to perfection! I am optimistic for the result.