Mark’s harvest: Vendange day 6

ARLAUD VENDANGE – Day 6, Sat 20th Sept 2014

A damp and claggy, rain in the air, cooler than previous starts to this day.

I’d been wondering when we’d get around to our final Morey 1er cru, ‘Aux Cheseaux’, & now had my answer as we started with it under gloomy skies and notably cooler temps, even allowing for the time of day (c 7.30 a.m ) we’re the first local domaine in the vines – no one beats Herve Arlaud, or the premier equipe de Morey !

Didn’t take us long at all to ‘knock off’ Cheseaux, grapes here largely similar to what we’d been seeing before elsewhere but just a little more rot here, in my rows at least. En vehicule for the next location and where on earth could we be going ??? Ahh, all revealed in due course – Vosne ‘Aux Reas’, the last of the negoce stuff. Maybe mid plot, top section. We were joined here in her Espace by Carol, wife of Cyprien, and their three daughters ages 9, 8, and 3, all keen to assist which was nice. Murky, misty, horizon making any sighting of Mont Blanc impossible, suggested rain maybe not out of the question but none came, thank goodness. Bit of village stuff to close out the morning then afternoon off we went to Gevrey ‘La Justice’. Some sizeable puddles, and very muddy, churned up, ground leading into the plot behind the block of flats from which we entered the plot at the eastern end. Always seems a strange way to get into a plot of vines and unless one knew it then one might never guess at the access.

Sun was getting warm again here after the claggy morning, in fact very warm, and sweat inducing as we ‘battled’ the indecently sized grapes and weight of fruit per vine. Here, in an unguarded moment, half way approx across the plot, I cut myself properly for the first time in years which made me yelp. My first vendange, 2006 with the delightful Duchesse, Amelie MacMahon at Domaine du Duc de Magenta, saw me make a right mess of my hands then as an untrained novice but since then familiarity had seen me largely wound free. On this latest occasion though I nipped hard the right front side of my left forefinger which then bled copiously for what seemed several minutes. Eventually after three requests to different porteurs one of them kindly brought me a plaster and some sticky tape to secure it with. Just after this much banter ensued with another domaine’s pickers going the other way in rows immediately adjacent. Following the pickers the boss on a tractor adjacent to the driver looked familiar. I called across which domaine to find myself speaking to Romain Taupenot, Domaine Taupenot-Merme, another Morey domaine here picking in Gevrey. I’ve met Romain several times at London tastings and like him a good deal. He laughed when I remarked I hadn’t initially recognised him without a suit and tie and said the same could be said about myself before we wished each other the best and moved on.

Think we did some more local stuff before finishing but recall is a bit hazy. Evening saw us joined for dinner by Cyprien and family which prompted much serious Tarot card playing amongst one or two of my fellow live in vendangeurs and Cyprien’s three daughters. Two nice wines served with dinner – a quite seriously good Morey 2005 Village and a Morey 2010 1er cru ‘Millandes’ which, for me, acknowledging its youth didn’t outdo the Village as fully showed the benefit of 2005.

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