I started this Tues a.m. and still trying to finish it Thurs lunch…
Second warm morning in a row. Even though not properly daylight feels like might be another scorcher like yesterday. More of that anon.
Arrived in Pernand Monday afternoon after leisurely run from Calais off the. 5 a.m Seafrance Berlioz from Dover. Never seen a ferry so quiet – approx 16 cars. Blue sky and sun all the way. Arrived early afternoon so detoured through Nuits to Morey to say hello to my friends from last year at Arlauds.
Warm greetings from employee Didier dans la cave and then from the usual utterly laid back Cyprien. I was delighted and amused by Cyprien telling me about the impact tout le monde on Burgundy Report last year. Apparently lots of friends and acquaintances have contacted the Arlauds from places such as Australia to say they had seen my rambling prose and photos.
Arlaud commence le vendange this coming Saturday. Little evidence of folk starting in the vines I passed en route. Was amazed though to hear Rousseau had started and Cyprien mentioned another domaine having finished!!!! Romain Arlaud and the superbe Herve arrived whilst we were chatting – Romain without last year’s plaster cast on his wrist but with an impressive scar were he cut his thumb tendon pre vendange. He too was full of my Burgundy Report 08 piece – tres bon !!
On to Pernand via a sleepy Vosne. Very much a sense of something about to ‘explode’ to disturb the rural peace. Someone had the builders tower crane en propriete. Had the obligatory stop by Romanée Conti – grapes looked good if bit mixed. Some photos to follow.
Never replaced my irreparably damaged Sony after last year always having other calls on my cash without enough for the desired Canon G10. Am using my 15 year old daughter’s very fetching shocking pink Fuji Finepix – slightly hampered by not having time to read the instructions!!!
Arrive en Pernand – plus beau village. Took photos on the way in by Ile des Vergelesses. Arrived at the domaine to meet Jean-Claude, a Belgian regular of 27 vintages and Patrice, a young guy from the Vosges who’s now my room mate in the rambling house the vendangeurs share up the village just past Bonneau du Martray. House belongs to Christine Dubreuil and husband Nicolas Gruere. Very comfortable if basic and a big step up in the comfort stakes indeed compared to Arlaud – particularly bathroom + shower – almost bliss!!! Various other vendangeurs arrived – will be quite a few of us in the house.
La famille Dubreuil are very nice. Christine’s English is word perfect, father Bernard is a lovely guy but no doubt who’s in charge – Maman !!! Christine’s husband, Nicolas, is a very quiet, pleasant, studious chap. There are 2 daughters which begs a succession question idc.
Tuesday a.m 7 o,clock start pour dejeuner in the refectory , immediately left as one comes thro the gates. Nice vaulted room but incongruously spoilt for me by a bizarre modern suspended ceiling unit. Walls have concours certificates (recent) and black + white St Vincent Aloxe + Pernand photos of vignerons tasting in a cellar. The 1959 photo is charming in terms of attire – all berets or flat caps, heavy coats and what look like clogs.
The property is une grande maison ou petite chateau with graveled courtyard, office, cave and tasting room.
Out into the vineyards we go – seems a lovely day and it is !!! Gets hotter and hotter. By end of the day I thought 25 C but my new friend, Benoit, thought it nearer 30C.
Quelle surprise – we start in Corton Bressandes Grand Cru. Just along from a plot of the Hospice and beyond that of Jacques Prieur. As I bend to my first vine with what are annoyingly blunt secateurs it’s like I haven’t been away for a year. Same routine of leaf strip, find the stalk + snip. Wear one glove on my left hand which is soon dripping wet with juice. Grapes look superb. Big, tight, compact heavy bunches. Ground is dry underfoot for my Merrell’s which soon though are sandy clay coloured. Dubreuil must have a big plot of Bressandes as we make 2 or 3 passes through it with what I counted later as 37 vendangeurs. Panty of locals, all sorts of ages, lots of regulars and a large contingent of cheery Poles. In the winery is Kirsten from Australia, went to the other Aussie wine university other than Roseworthy.
After Bressandes we move to a small parcelle of Corton Clos du Roi and whip thro it before lunch. Grapes are quite a bit different here, in my row anyway, being thin, straggly, small bunches – younger vines maybe?
Cold chicken pieces and salade for lunch. Dubreuil are employing outside caterers – not something I have come across before but a measure of the seriousness of the meal. Very passable vins blanc et rouge accompany lunch. Tried to find out what they are but much indifference.
Afternoon is taken up with a section of Pernand Ile des Vergelesses, big thick, easy to pick bunches. Bucket soon fills up for the shout of pannier. Dubreuil do the vineyard system different to what I’m used to with cases scattered around the rows before we arrive. Then various guys collect buckets to the cases before the tractor arrives to collect to a trailer at the end of the vineyard. The tractor driver is crazy – the Bobard hurtles dangerously around but has a great feature I haven’t seen before whereby when it’s dropping or collecting cases the driver can lean or drop one side of the tractor (with a shrieking noise).
Great first day finishes in Savigny Ile des Vergelesses which bizarrely is above the Pernand site nearer the tree line. Noticed this year several young guys have music players – heard one guy, with others joining in, singing Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” – little bizarre but quirky..
Will sign off here with 1st installment…
Beaune, Pommard and Aloxe Corton next and robbing a fig tree!!