weekend rain (part 1)…

Update 26.9.2006(25.9.2006)billn

drc 1er cru
Saturday morning and it’s raining in Beaune – we delay our trip.

Actually we just stay in bed a little longer 🙂

We arrive in Beaune late afternoon and there is no rain – in fact it’s rather warm. In the evening we open lots of bottles and are all humbled (including the winemakers among us) by the understated complexity and alround excellence of domaine de la Romanée Conti’s 2002 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru – and (as you can see above) we compared it to lots of other bottles! I should add the Julia’s cooking also helped a lot – Julia is from Brasil and is here doing a stage.

Safe to say we slept very well; Sunday the first grapes of our trip arrived.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “weekend rain (part 1)…”

  1. bill nanson25th September 2006 at 9:59 pmPermalinkReply

    Domaine de la Vougeraievougeraie
    Saturday 23rd September
    Fifth day

    Rain and Sun in Le Clos Blanc

    Yesterday evening the clouds hid the stars, and night came on with a surprising softness. This atmospheric cocoon was still shrouding the Côte this morning. It is already 16° at eight in the morning, when the harvesters come for the last time to caress the slopes of Le Clos Blanc.

    This last cut will be for the younger vines of the Clos, replanted in 2000 in area known as ‘La Plante’ which brought our monopoles surface area up from 1.96 ha to 2.28 ha. In this vast parcel – on a Burgundian scale of things! – The plantations were spread out over several decades. We have replanted over the years, depending on requirements, as is increasingly the way in the great vineyards. A very good sanitary state and as ever a high degree level (13.2°).

    Now alone in this corner of Vougeot, our faithful team are bent double under the oilskins and with their boots, because several showers fell yesterday and they are forecasted intermittently for today. In fact at ten precisely a short shower drenched the hooded pickers in just a couple of minutes. But Pierre decided to carry on because the sun and fine weather were forecasted for immediately afterwards. In addition, today is a root day on the biodynamic calendar. A day particularly favourable and we work our finest wines on the best days, and Le Clos Blanc, our King of Hearts, is always especially pampered.

    In the winery the juice from the first pressing of these freshly cut grapes has a completely different taste to the other pressings of Le Clos Blanc. Much more aromatic, with a Muscat-like expression, it evokes the characteristics of the Pinot Blanc, as this vineyard still has a few of these vines, bearing witness to the ancient history, preceding that of more recent times, particularly the appellation limitations (of 1934).

    As ever we separate the juice of the press, following the example of our cousins from Champagne, who compartmentalize their pressings to create better cuvées. If they have inspired us for our Crémants, which follow the same processes of production, it is rarer to practice this technique for our great ‘still’ white wines. The last juice not being acidic enough – too flabby, our winemaker judges that it is really necessary to put it to one side.

    Conjuring up images of Le Clos Blanc makes his eyes light up for this great wine, which he is vinifying for the first time, and which he judges to be truly ‘fantastic!’ It has an exceptional personality, which already shows through from just its juice. ‘One already senses that the raw material is there!’ All is concentrated in this grape juice unlike all others, which will give us in one year an exceptional young wine. Today we fill the first thirty five barrels, using gravity in the cellar, the barrels ready to receive the wine, perfectly aligned. Two hundred litres and no more, bung open to let the air do its work. The wines are chilled as we said previously at 13°, and thus they start their fermentation very gently, slowly at this low temperature, and ideally not passing 20° by the end of fermentation, thus bringing to the fore all the finesse of their origin, and the grace that an excess un-controlled heat would have transformed into crude exotic aromas ….Time, patience, gentleness and voluptuousness….

    A low qualitative yield of 39hl/ha for our Clos Blanc, means that this 2006 vintage will offer up to 39 barrels. Finally the day ends lower down only a few hundred metres away in our large parcel of Vougeot Clos du Prieuré, for the white part of this vineyard that is a bi-coloured monopole. A different terroir despite the proximity, that’s the complexity of Burgundy!

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