24-Sept-2021 – My Beaune harvest, day 6

Update 24.9.2021(25.9.2021)billn

Morning coffee in Beaune...Not such a warm start – but blue sky for the morning coffee – and it’s going to reach 23°C today, possibly 26°C tomorrow.

That’s the good news; the forecast for tomorrow (Saturday) has softened a little – there’s now only a 50% chance of storms in the early evening – but Sunday is looking like a 90% chance of storms. Next week looks changeable too. Because of this, a number of domaines that had planned to start picking at the weekend have brought their harvest forward – starting on Thursday – Arlaud is just one, for instance. There’s plenty of action today in the great places of the Côte de Nuits; Chambertin, Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot and Romanée St.Vivant. Not just great vineyards in the Côte de Nuits – Bouchard Père were picking Montrachet today.

Some in the Côte de Nuits have even finished today – Charles Lachaux, for instance – but with his low yields it’s no surprise that he sees maturity some days before his neighbours.

Almost at the same level as those grand crus(!) our home domaine began to harvest their more than 1-hectare parcel of Beaune villages but first came their whites in Pernand Sous Frétille and Corton-Charlemagne.

Both of the starting whites had lovely grapes but the obvious difference between the two was the volume; 14 hl/ha in the Pernand and 30 hl/ha in the Corton-Charlemagne – the latter benefiting from the use of candles for two nights during the frost of April – though there was, of course, an associated cost for the candles! The red needed plenty of attention on the triage table but it was worth it.

In general, the grapes have benefitted from the recent rain – so far – they seem to have lost no maturity but this rain has diluted (reduced) the amount of acidity – many domaines reporting a pleasing balance to the musts. Unfortunately, today’s my last day as early tomorrow I must head to the UK. The home Beaune domaine are hoping to complete (almost) their harvest over the weekend. Their last plot, high in Pommard’s Vaumuriens always needs a few days longer to reach ripeness – it’s currently only showing a potential of 10.4° – I might be back in time to help with that…

But, let’s not forget, there was wine with lunch – or was it the other way around?!

2017 Jules Desjourneys, Mâcon-Prissé
Powerful, balanced, almost muscular – but how delicious is this? That’s a great Mâconnais!
Rebuy – Yes

2018 Françoise André, Beaune 1er Belissand Blanc
The only white from this vineyard. Together with the red from a couple of days ago we are certainly the only drinkers of this pair – in the world – this week!
Softer, silky but really very attractive aromas of fruit, stones – and hardly any oak. In the mouth, this is silky and elegant and much more easily approachable than the Mâcon-Prissé today. Delicious, excellent wine.
Rebuy – Yes

1974 DRC, La Tâche
Served blind, my comrade making a right mess of removing the cork – I’m not saying I would have done better but the tools weren’t in my hands 🙂
Pale colour – but what a nose! Not powerful but layered and oh so complex. Likewise in the mouth a wine whose delicious flavour radiates out from a small start – but with such impeccable balance. We’re supposed to be guessing – I plump for 1969 and Vosne. Having been told it’s just a little younger and my (poor cork remover) colleague has his suggestion of 1971 rejected, my guess is a wine from a great vineyard in a ‘small’ vintage. It turns out to be La Tâche – we are not worthy – but I’m happy with my guesses – I’m also happy there’s no wine to follow that I can get totally wrong 🙂
Rebuy – No Chance Dream wine…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There is one response to “24-Sept-2021 – My Beaune harvest, day 6”

  1. Fred Schilling26th September 2021 at 1:20 amPermalinkReply

    Fascinating. Reminded me that I had blind tasted all the DRC wines from 1974 (17JAN78 in fact) in Sydney at a retail outlet.

    Fossicking to find my historic notes of the time and recalling that when we entered the room where all the wines were poured, that the perfume hit was a real “knock your socks off” moment, revealed that the Montrachet and the RSV were a bit ordinary. Thereafter the quality climb for such a vintage as 1974 was astounding with the Echezeaux (18) bettering the Grands Echezeaux (17). After that I scored the Richebourg equal (19) with the La Tâche and the Romanée Conti tops (19.5). Room ranking was Richebourg 1st followed by RC and La Tâche.

    1974 La Tâche Ruby red colour with density between that of first two wines. Lifted smooth, velvety perfumed fruit nose. Palate has big fruit power with a long finish and lingering aftertaste. A powerful rich wine.

    So amazing to find that it’s still powering on so many decades later. Who would have thought?

    • billn5th October 2021 at 8:29 amPermalinkReply

      A pleasure to hear your words and context.
      Maybe not powering – I thought (blind) a wine from a fading great vintage, hence my guess of 1969, or a very grand wine from a more modest vintage – it was the latter in this case. But – seamless, complex and beautifully balanced. An absolute pleasure…

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