Burgundy Harvest 17 September 2014…


The plastic ‘cork’ now says Très Vieilles-Vignes, though the label says Vieilles-Vignes – they were 100 years-old in 2005. Anyway, life may have moved on, but today was the 26th anniversary of me getting married – so a good excuse for a nice bottle!

2012 Chézeaux (Ponsot), Clos St.Denis
Wow! This is deeply coloured. The nose is not über demonstrative but is fine and complex, darkly fruited and smooth – it’s ripe but safely avoids ‘over-ripe.’ Ouf! This is really mouth-filling and silky – but super-concentrated in the mid-palate – real 2012 heft from there into the finish. Very, very, very long on a stony and mildly mineral note. It’s very hard to find the tannin here, such is the extract of buffering fruit. Simply exceptional!
Rebuy – Yes

Ah-yes – the harvest! Well, my back made a miraculous recovery for the morning session – Diclofenac-mediated – so onwards!

Starting at 09h00 with Beaune 1er Les Cras we had better grapes, on average, than yesterday’s Beaune Les Avaux – still hailed of-course, but the ‘clusters’ left behind much of their dried berries whilst passing across the vibrating table. On the whole another good result despite the low yield. Next we had Biodynamic Ladoix – and what lovely grapes – very, very little botrytis here. For the first time we could speed up our triage table. Just a few ladybirds noted under the vibrating table, but none on the triage table itself – maybe this is now becoming part of terroir, assuming you are Biodynamic 😉

The advantage of working the harvest at a négoce is that, not only do you get to see grapes from almost every village up and down the Côte d’Or, you get to see the fruits from different growers (and their different approaches) too. There are some vineyard/grower combinations that you really anticipate – not necessarily for the same reasons though – today we had both!!! First up, Santenay 1er cru which is always scruffy and full of botrytis – it usually takes an inordinate amount of time to triage – but today, wow, it was beautiful. The level of rot easily the equal of 2005, maybe even less. I was amazed. The other I was looking forward to is the villages Vosne-Romanée Vieilles-Vignes – as always, this was simply wonderful stuff. You can see from the photo that (on the right) the average grape size was much larger than the Facebook bunch to the left – the smaller bunch being much closer in size to 2010. Again we were able to make 50% whole clusters with this raw material – and at top speed on our triage table too.

We had the same quantity (volume) of grapes today, as yesterday, but we were already finished at 19h15 – such is the difference when triage is not laborious…

I’m trying to think when we last had such low levels of rot – just botrytis, so ignoring the acetic stuff – it’s better than Côte de Beaune 2011, and I think only 2005 was better than that (since 2004). Very impressive!

And my back – well, let’s just say that it’s nice to sit down and type this 🙂

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