A double update – from both Vicki and from Jean-Marie!
Many things have already been said on the web about the 2009 Vintage, and it is already being compared to the 05 vintage. We have attached some temperature and light, and rain charts which show the differences between the 2005 and 2009 which show that of course no vintage is the same. Jean-Marie actually sees it more as a marriage of the 99’s and 05’s. Still at the end of the day it is a vintage in it’s own right and a very exciting one too!
The grapes at harvest were beautifully small, so much so that some tiny ones which were no bigger than black currants fell through the grid of our sorting table and we recuperated them and put them in the vat! Already on the 2nd day in the vats the colour had changed to a bright pink, very unlike the last couple of years when we had to wait 2 or 3 days for this to happen. Fermentations, once they got going have been very quick and produced lots of heat, so we had to be very careful not to let them get too hot. Pigeage this year was not for the faint hearted, given the amount of mass solid compared to mass liquid. It has been known in the past few weeks for two very fit (strong) men to take around one hour to pigeage any given cuve. Even our porters in the vineyards were saying that they couldn’t remember a year where the cases were so heavy.
Finally, I can’t remember the last time I have seen JM smiling quite so much on the sorting table during a harvest! I have attached some photos to show you why!
The Growing season was absolutely perfect, with rain when we needed some and sun the rest of the time, the funny things is sometime you have nothing to say as all the conditions was right, the last month before picking was made of warm days and cool nights, so all the ingredients to have some great fruits.
Fruits at the harvest had the perfect size with lots of millerandage quite a lots of the berries had the size of Blackcurrant, so I insist on the fact that it’s not just the yield per hectare but also the ratio skin to juice which is more important for natural concentration.
The very unusual thing was how wild was the natural yeast to ferment this yeast, like if they’ve was as happy as the vigneron to find such great grapes!
All those tiny grapes released their sugar and more acidity later during the fermentations to give a last kick of extraction before the vats finished fermenting in a concert of Aromas.
After pressing our first vat today and tasting the first wine, I can just say that if we had a big smile on our face during the winemaking, tasting the result under the press has got me very excited indeed!
The only negative thing about 2009 is to put 2008 a bit to quickly in the shadow.