Domaine Michel Gros 2023 Vendange Day 12

Thursday SEPT 21st

In my out on the street (or in the car) predicament, all of my own making, during the early hours of this Thursday I sort of dozed fitfully on occasion, the night passing slowly until, hallelujah, around 6.00 a.m. I was very relieved, from my car, to see Michel come and open the gates. Too embarrassed to reveal myself immediately, I waited for him to disappear then quickly headed into the yard, to the house, and up to my room to ‘freshen up’, get out of my evening attire, into my work clothes and gather my work stuff before heading to breakfast, cool as a cucumber, as if nothing had happened.

I had a decision to make over my contact lenses (monthlies not dailies) but, as they felt ok I decided to leave them in – and as it happened they were fine although I guess c36 hours wear isn’t recommended. Chef Jean-Michel was asleep when I entered our room hence only later in the day did I admit to him what had happened – he was suitably amused !

Aside from my self-inflicted nocturnal ‘issues’ the big development at breakfast was a hugely relieved Padhraic being back in possession of his bag ! So happy for him. Turned out last evening Juliette had very kindly taken him back up to Au Vallon in her car & they both searched some more and found the bag – in an area where Padhraic and I hadn’t looked as, at the time, he had felt we were looking in the right area as best he could recollect. Where it was found was an area we’d worked on during the morning of the day in question before we moved some way to a different part of the vineyard post lunch. Very good/kind of Juliette to take the trouble to help him & a great outcome.

We were back to Hautes-Cotes de Nuits Fontaine St Martin (‘FSM’) again for the Pinot on this morning which was largely grey, cloudy and overcast although by lunchtime to some extent it depended on which way one looked as in one direction could be lighter cloud and almost blue sky but the other way the sky was a lot murkier. Certainly a lot cooler. We did two passes of the Pinot Noir rows this a.m., our sub team buoyed by Mercedes’ varied music playlist accompanying our efforts, before usual adjournment for lunch back in Vosne. A quality lunch this day as well – boeuf borguignon. Yum !

The afternoon turned out most unexpectedly ! We returned back to FSM with, initially, no hint of what was to come. But, it wasn’t long before storm clouds started to gather quite rapidly whilst we worked, then continuous rolls of thunder started to reverberate across the valley, albeit at that stage without lightning or rain. As it hadn’t rained I was a little surprised when work was aborted circa 3.00 p.m with a call to return to Vosne. Perfect timing though, weather guru Michel demonstrating his prowess cum local knowledge, as no sooner had we got back to Vosne to the point of disembarking vehicles then the rain came, and how !!! Heavy rain of the bouncing variety then continued for the rest of the afternoon.

My taxi service was once again requested as earlier in the day Padhraic had asked if I could take him into NSG as he wanted to buy some chocolates for Juliette as a deserved ‘thank you’ for her invaluable assistance in retrieving his missing bag from Au Vallon. As we drove to NSG I mentioned I was aware of an upmarket chocolatier in the pedestrianised area although my knowledge was dated hence I couldn’t be certain the business was still there. I parked up, staying with the car, in that parking area on the left as one passes through the centre of NSG & the road turns sharply left heading south. Padhraic hared off to find what he was after whilst I watched, in intrigued, curious, fashion two gendarmes dealing with an Opel Insignia and its driver only yards from me. I’ve no idea what was going on but eventually the Opel was allowed to go, the gendarmes following in the other direction.

Success for Padhraic in acquiring upmarket confectionery and a return to a soggy Vosne.

Usual clean up for me, with an infrequent shave, then laptop work either side of dinner. I can’t recall who produced it but a few of us enjoyed a glass of the remainder of the Voillot 1993 Meursault Les Cras I’d brought back from my Beaune soiree. To follow Michel Gros 2010 Clos des Reas (4 magnums) accompanied dinner.

And so quite a relief to be back in bed as normal after my night before ! How much longer had we to go and what else did we have to do ? Questions, questions – no answers for now; and another one – could this be the longest vendange for yours truly ?


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