saturday 27th update

Update 30.9.2008(27.9.2008)billn

Cool photo reportage from the harvest.

  • Before Lunch: So far this morning we triaged grapes from Ladoix that are destined for a Côtes de Beaune. Far, far better than my expectation; almost no rot – I may have worked only 5 vintages, but I’ve not seen cleaner grapes from such a ‘lowly’ appellation – the rub is that we still have to work hard to remove the unripe, and it’s a significant amount. The grapes are far from consitent in size, and despite returning to the table de trie and finding it sticky (like in 2005) there’s not quite the same number of drier/dried grapes as that year so I have the impression they are not quite so concentrated.
  • 3:30pm:The Volnay villages this afternoon, followed on from the Ladiox of this morning: nice ‘hand-grenade’ clusters, very rarely showing rot, but again plenty of unripe ones to remove – these less ripe clusters will make a great rosé! Now we’re waiting for our Pommard Epenots…
  • 7:10pm: Just finished our Pommard Epenots. More rot, but still less than 2006 or 2007. To balance the fruit was riper and visibly bluer than the Volnay but still some under-ripe stuff to throw away.

I won’t make any big summaries based on fruit from just 2 vineyards, but safe to say I’m positively surprised versus my expectations. Not just the fields of Pommard were full of pickers; the densely planted section of La Tâche was picked today, as was at least some of La Romanée – Louis-Michel Liger-Belair has over 50 pickers this year, and should be finished by Tuesday.

Nice report here from Mark Gough in Morey:

Deuxieme jour pour le vendange Arlaud.

Arrived Friday after leisurely drive from off the ferry at Zeebrugge circa 9.00 am. Noted lots of activity on the Montagne de Reims and the Aube vineyards from the autoroute.

Sharing a rustic (basic – very !!) flat with 6 mature French guys who have been coming to Arlaud for yrs – but 4 of them do only driving and chais work!!! Also one brave Belgian girl Sophie shares with us.

Tricky first morning in 5 hectare plot of Bourgogne Rouge (for Arlaud’s Roncevie) after far too much ‘sampling’ of the product on the first evening. Herve Arlaud kept us hard at it until 12 dejeuner in increasingly warm sunshine and same again afternoon until ‘Arret’ at 6 when most of us had just about had it !! No mid morning and mid afternoon’s breaks here as at Magenta in 06. We have almost finished the Bourgogne – not sure where we go after this. Grapes look better than I expected but I have been amazed at the savage selection on the table even for the Bourgogne. Romain Cyprien, Arlaud’s chef de cave, tells me only circa 10% kept from 2 tries. He also told me the grapes had improved massively in the run up to the vendange and that drying wind had helped concentration.

Got to go now, les autres vendangeurs locale arrivee noisily ! I love the camaraderie of the vendange and the banter.

Musnt forget my bottle of water tomorrow!!!

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