This will be the last ‘active’ note related to the 2007 Burgundy grape harvest, as by Monday the vendanges will be overwhelmingly over. A few additional summaries from growers will appear as they become available.
The weather has held up brilliantly over the last two weeks – though the temperature has remained below average, the accompaniment has been clear blue skies and sunshine. Just one or two ‘diehards’ are holding on to bring in a parcel of reds here or there, these and a little in the Hautes Côtes apart, and the pinot noir harvest is complete. Chardonnay needed more time and sun. Dominique Lafon picked his Montrachet a couple of days ago, and today there is mainly Charlemagne and Hautes Côtes to pick. Bonneau du Martray started picking their Corton-Charlemagne yesterday, and my ‘home team’ will start tomorrow.
The vintage will be as heterogeneous as the approaches and the quality of grapes and sorting; Jean-Marc Boillot started to harvest 20th August, Alain Burguet in Gevrey-Chambertin, who is always a late boy, started only last Saturday, the 8th September. Like most years the average quality of the pinot noir in the Côte de Nuits is higher than that of the Côte de Beaune, the whites look like they will be very nice, provided the grapes were harvested ripe. The later harvested pinots all showed an elevation of strawberry aromatics and were starting to hint of more roasted flavours.
So what of the home team? Monday saw the arrival of grapes from Chambertin, and they looked pretty good. Tuesday saw grapes from Latricières-Chambertin – they needed quite some work (just like in 2004) – and the last reds to be picked on Wednesday were from Maranges. Actually the Maranges looked great. Since Saturday, the team have seen a real leap in the visual quality of the grapes moving across the triage table. As mentioned, it is Corton-Charlemagne and Hautes Côtes blancs that will be the last to arrive – all tomorrow.
In the cuverie we see the first cuvée to be pressed – it’s the Beaune 1er Cru Les Cras that we triaged on the 30th August. It seems nice and round – if hard to taste because of the malic acid – it’s reminiscent of a 2000 with just a little more depth. The fruit is very nice and it seems we had good phenolic ripeness as there was plenty of punching down to get the extraction, but to no ‘bitter’ effect. If we look back to our expectations as the harvest started, this is a great result.
Comments from our Morey St.Denis correspondent:
“I was obliged to finish on Sunday the cutting, but the working with the wine is rather tiring, we are still doing 12 hour days, but have long pauses in between. I am doing lots of push-downs, and sugaring the wines to get them to a degree decent. I am happy to do this as I am drawing out the fermentations much longer this way. I do have some pretty colors, I’ll see how it turns out, I have a hard time controlling the temperatures, I want to go up to 30° then bring it back down to 25° to keep my fruit. we try to keep it active during the day light hours, this keeps me by my thermometer. the first tank has been at 990 for 2 days now, I am doing this on purpose, its a tricky method, but if the year is not too fat, I’ll get a warm elegance out of this.
The Fixin (blanc) was cut on tuesday, pretty yellow grapes, not more than 10 rotten grapes in the whole vineyard. I could have waited for some other vines, but was pushed to cut fast for other reasons. I think that I am the happiest with the Passtoutgrains, Fixin, Bourgogne (one of my favorites anyway), The Morey Village is very nice, and the Combottes is extre, too bad I don’t have more. The Clos de la Roche is showing her typical violetes and bing cherries, a paradox that I can never forget, and the Riottes is more and more spicy. I did put some whole clusters in it this year.”
To finish off these notes – more very enjoyable reports from Domaine de la Vougeraie: