Thursday: The early grapes (at least at this producer, and note that we are talking about pinot noir) were visually a little disappointing; the Beaunes the Savignys the Bourgogne – all were difficult and needed a hard triage. What remained was ripe enough but didn’t instill a sense of excitement.
What came in after some wonderful Corton Chaumes on Monday was a big improvement versus the previous week and lifted our excitement levels; the Santenay was nice, as was the village Vosne-Romanée and some Volnay 1er Taillepieds too – much less sorting was needed.
Yesterday the Corton Rognets grapes were super, very close to the level of Monday’s Chaumes – with the right growers you will have very lovely wines from Corton in 2006 – and from both colours too. Nuits 1er Vaucrains grapes were also excellent, requiring very little triage. This afternoon the grapes from Charmes-Chambertin are expected.
Tomorrow it will be Gevrey-Chambertin and Latricières-Chambertin.
The grapes have been coming into the winery quite cool in a morning and are being triaged in nice working conditions, i.e. ~20°C, sunny and dry – perhaps this week’s lack of rain has also helped improve the excitement levels – at least together with higher phenolic ripeness and (typically all) brown lignified pips seen in this second week.
There’s just a slight chance that we could be finishing up on Sunday as there is still some Hautes Côtes to think about, if so I will be back onsite Saturday and Sunday.
There is one response to “thursday…”
Domaine de la Vougeraie
Thursday 28 September
An autumnal concerto
The sun struggled to show its face this morning, masked by high cloud. But despite the cool and damp start, the temperature rose after lunch in the vines and our two teams of pickers enjoyed a pleasant afternoon. The vineyards all around are gradually starting to take on the warm russet and golden hues of the fall.
The pickers were in the vines by 7.45am. Seventeen pickers along with four haulers were assigned to the Côte de Beaune, and spent the day at Pommard to harvest the 1.1 hectares of Pommard Les Petits Noizons. This south-facing, sloping plot has wonderful vines and Pierre was pleased he’d waited for it to fully ripen before harvesting. The bunches of grapes were in good condition, but still 5% of the harvest was discarded.
A larger team of twenty-five pickers and nine haulers set out to work on the Côte de Nuits, spending the morning exclusively on the reds of Vougeot Clos du Prieuré, the whites having been harvested five days earlier. Our hard work of the past year was rewarded with a good crop of fine grapes, but always with one eye on optimum quality, Pierre nevertheless discarded some 3%.
The Vougeot Clos du Prieuré was finished by 3pm and the pickers headed off to Gevrey-Chambertin to attack La Justice. Today, they picked the rows on gravel, where the grapes were riper than on the section of vines on earth. This is a very unusual plot, with 200m long rows and there is a clear difference in the composition of the soil from one end to the other, explaining why only half of each row was scheduled for picking today, to the delight of the pickers, demoralized by interminable rows of vines.
It was a different story at Chambolle-Musigny where more delicate, expert hands gathered our extremely rare Musigny grand cru. Just two pièces – traditional Burgundian barrels containing around 230 liters – will be produced for the privileged few. Four pickers were dedicated to this painstaking task and as soon as the grapes arrived in the winery, Pierre and five sorters began removing the precious berries from the stalks by hand. Such is the value of these rare pearls that each grape is individually placed in boxes and then gently poured into the wooden vat to minimize damage.
The sorters sit silently on the benches and stone steps in the paved courtyard of the Domaine, listening to the light, melodious strains of the violins from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons concerto they have chosen to accompany their task. For a moment, time stands still.
Meanwhile, the Corton-Charlemagne rests in barrels in the cellar where the only sounds are the first murmurings from the Clos Blanc.
“Oh time, stop your flight.”