Finally! you say – a bit of Côte de Nuits action!
Today, a small tour around Gevrey centre, followed by an excellent lunch in the bistro of Rôtissèrie du Chambertin (good value too) and then a walk through Clos de Bèze to recover. Although only about 21°C today, the sun was hot – only later in the afternoon was there more cloud and a threat – but no more – of rain.
Clos de Bèze – despite its lofty status – is a great place to get an average view of how the grapes are progressing; it starts low but goes quite high on the hill, there are dark areas by the forest too – very different to the sunny, lower and mid-slope vines. The grapes look very clean, very small and the clusters have the weight and hardness of small hand-grenades – all seem very clean of rot so-far. The leaf colour of first vines of each row that face the sun already have the look of autumn (see right), but behind, as the rows continue, they seem pretty normal. In just a few places – for instance the first vines next to the road (Route des Grands Crus) as you approach Morey St.Denis, the lowest leaves are brown like November – yet like elsewhere, the vines along the rows seem fine.
Overall the veraison is a little more advanced than some of the Côte de Beaune vineyards I’ve seen, but not 100% done. The taste of these (€100/kg?) grapes is largely sweet and round – like the whites – probably because malic acid seems relatively low in this vintage. Clearly there’s plenty of skin this year though, and it has quite a good taste – so-far…
Clos de Bèze: