Our first juice comes from Savigny 1er Aux Vergelesses. These medium-sized berries (but with a lot of millerandage) are ripe – the first press juice showing about 13.5° – the trough under our vibrating table has collected plenty of these millerandes, but they are not all completely ripe – it’s doing its job!
The bunches are harbouring very little in the way of insects, and there’s no rot to speak of, though some oïdium needs to be weeded out on the triage table. Given such a warm year the acidity looks quite good – there were more days over 30°C in July-August 2019 than in the same period of 2018 – but these grapes are refreshing to the taste.
As every year, our press is the limiting factor, when its full we revert to pinot noir despite more bins of Savigny Vergelesses in waiting. Our first red will be Corton Renardes – more than touched by hail on the 14 July – the estimate is about 20% losses, but we shall see!
Our afternoon is about reds – three of them – all small cuvées. We have two 1er crus from Pernand – En Caradeux and Les Fichots – plus Corton Renardes.
The Renardes was beautiful stuff; medium to small berries, with almost no rot – we could have done no triage at all. There was just a little more to be done with the two from Pernand, but only anecdotally-so, though their average berry size was a little larger – Caradeux had the largest grapes.
What was clear, was the crunchy thickness of the skins – along with berry size, the key attributes of the vintage. These thick skins are the source for plenty of tannin and that tannin was far from ready one week ago – the grapes were sweet enough but they were also showing plenty of astringency – today that’s gone – this is the concept of picking with phenolic ripeness in action.