harvest day 13 – 4-oct-2016


 Our 7am accompaniment – some days they can be very loud!

Our last day of grapes began with a trip to Gevrey-Chambertin – on our collection list today was Lavaux St.Jacques and Chambertin.

The morning sky was as clear as can be, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better early morning view of Mont Blanc – a shame that my camera wasn’t to hand in our truck. The clear night had sent the temperatures tumbling – some higher spots in the Hautes Côtes were even touched with a little frost…

The light from the early morning sun on the Côte St.Jacques was really super – the team of our grower was already well underway at 8am, picking in Lavaux. And what grapes – see the images below – this was the best fruit of our 2016 campaign, marginally besting those Charmes-Chambertin grapes towards the end of last week. These grapes from Lavaux provided only one disappointment – we got the equivalent of only 1.5 barrels worth – normally we have two…

Next we drove to Chambertin, and the grower here bussed in a complete team – it seemed from the continent of Africa – most of the women with mud-painted (style) faces – yet in the vines they were as fast and efficient as any team I’ve ever seen picking. 40 cases for us, 40 cases for another producer and just under forty for the final producer. The first booked producer (who is new to this contract) was on site at 9h00, but his cases hadn’t arrived – much to annoyance of his courtier – and to the amusement of everybody-else. I’m sure the courtier would be able to console himself afterwards in his Range-Rover 🙂

Back to our base in Beaune, and Maranges 1er Cru was on the triage table. These were just fabulous grapes – the first pallet with virtually nil to triage – but subsequent pallets had quite a bit of unripe fruit – such a shame to throw it all away – and despite this being the very last day of our harvest, (at least some of) these grapes could have benefited from at least another 3-4 days on the vine. Like yesterday (Monday) our hands were slowly turning blue triaging this fruit – definitely a day for extra layers of clothing, despite the bright sun.

 Perfect Lavaux – and entirely representative of our 1.5 barrels…

Post-lunch, came the Lavaux. Simply fabulous fruit – see above – and like the Charmes, at least visually, close to perfection – a great vintage beckons for certain wines. Part of this went into the tank as perfect whole-clusters. Lastly came the Chambertin; not the absolute optical class of either the Lavaux or the Charmes, but really as good as I’ve seen from this producer/vineyard – and I’ve seen it every year since 2004! Interestingly today, our three parcels of fruit showed zero raisined/mildewed fruit – such a pleasure.

Okay, now it is just pigeage and pumping over for the next days – a number of our tanks are slowly fermenting with temperatures in the mid-20°s – more on those when I return to Beaune next week. Now it’s the final whistle for our 2016 harvest and time for a few days back home…

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