Vintage 2009

2009 harvest – wednesday 9th sept

By billn on September 09, 2009 #vintage 2009

Today’s update:

To be honest, the sun is causing some problems – I may have to resort to sunscreen! At Maison Giroud we brought in some 1er cru Beaune yesterday – a little ahead of most of our other vines because there is some disease – oïdium on one side of the parcel – but the main reason was the ripeness, 13% potential alcohol and, more important, pH at 3.5 + skins and seeds are ripe. From what I’ve seen so far, that may be the only serious triage of the vintage. Today we brought in the first grapes for Domaine des Croix – Beaune 1er Cent Vignes – they look fantastic, we’ve definitely not seen this quality since 2005. I’m watching the whites very carefully and will probably bring in my first parcel tomorrow – the acidities are currently fine, but the sun is causing it to drop quite quickly, it will take care to balance the ripeness and acidity. For the majority of parcels the only negative about harvesting today would be that the pinot currently has quite a lot of juice – possibly due to last week’s rain, but just as much a characteristic of the vintage. So it will be the weekend before we have the big push and hopefully a little of that liquid will have evaporated – certainly it will mainly be next week for the Côte de Nuits vines.
David Croix, Maison Camille Giroud, Domaine des Croix

moving along – with grapes!

By Ray Walker on September 09, 2009 #ray's posts#vintage 2009

Well, here we are with just under two weeks before my first harvest and things are moving along rather quickly. Besides the administrative tasks which keep me leapfrogging the Cote, I am sorting out bits in the cellar as well as the vineyard. It’s difficult being your own secretary, chauffeur, cellar master, and it certainly adds up to making plans and preparing for the bad surprise as they call it locally.

Just last week, I sorted the grapes situation. In short, I came away with some tidy material from Morey Saint Denis, Charmes-Chambertin all from Aux Charmes, and two barrels worth of grapes from Le Chambertin! Those who had read my thoughts prior to coming to Burgundy are aware if the change in sources as I was both prepared and honored to possibly only have an option to make village Aloxe-Corton. What a difference 180 days can make when partnered with persistence.

Since I have been in Burgundy, there have been figurative and actual blue skies and grey. Many days have seemed dark only to shift toward brilliant light. Missing trains, misreading train timetables, failing at hitchhiking whilst walking past Gevrey-Chambertin ‘a pied’ to Nuits St George with men the senior of my own father passing me at high speeds on bicycles has been how some days have gone. You can’t help but laugh and then feel tired, almost defeated with the now raging sun nearly cooking you alongside Route National 74. But showing up to the appointment (sweaty, 15 minutes late and 3 hours past fresh) someone pours me a glass of something red in a proper glass and the cool breeze in the cave makes me forget all about my tough walk just moments before.

2009 harvest – tuesday 8th

By billn on September 08, 2009 #vintage 2009

My home team will kick-off today (without me) bringing in the Beaune 1er Les Cras. It looks like we will have a very orderly harvest – no urgent dashes to the vines – also, despite daytime temperatures approaching 30°, the overnight temperatures are nice and cool (though not close to the 3° we had last year) so no worry about the grapes being too hot.

For your wider reading, Alex Gambal is running his blog during the harvest, and short message from Morey St.Denis:

The grapes are looking great. We picked our first little bit this morning (Monday): some Puligny village that we buy for Dujac Fils & Pere. Waiting on the analysis to confirm numbers. It should be around 12°5 and just looked and tasted ripe. I don’t think it will be a year to really wait on the whites, with the possible exception of Monts Luisants (it really holds acidity). Our latest sampling shows very uniform sugars at all appellation levels. All are between 12°3 and 12°5. We’ll begin on Thursday with the ones ripest, using other indicators such as stems, pips, etc.
Jeremy Seysses, Domaine Dujac

More as I have it…

The burgundy 2009 harvest starts today (Monday 7th)

By billn on September 07, 2009 #vintage 2009

forecast_monday_7thOkay maybe Champagne and even a little Chablis has already been cut from the vine, but for the Côte d’Or, the 2009 vendanges start here. Mark à Morey, our correspondent during the 2008 vintage is this year ‘en-place’ in Pernand-Vergelesses – he should, once more, come ‘online’ in a day or two – once we’ve thought of a new name for him!

The weather is set for dry and warm after last week’s cool and wet. It really wouldn’t surprise me if the harvest was drawn out over a two to three week period if the weather remains good. I don’t have the millimeters for the three and a bit days of rain of last week, it was not very heavy but at times rather incessant – which can be the worst kind of rain as heavy downpours mainly wash into the drains – but vignerons I’ve spoken to remain cautiously optimistic (actually not that cautious!) given the fine weather that followed and the forecast of fine weather to come. Here are some selected quotes:

It still looks great. Basically no botrytis, and with the weather of the last days, sugar level remained stable, as berry size increased a little. The good thing was that as the rain came, temperatures decreased, so it hasn’t been a problem really. It might have been more of a problem if the weather would have been warmer , but given the excellent shape of the vines, I’m not even sure of that. So I’m still really excited about the vintage to come – it definitely looks like it’s going to be the best since 05, even if it’s always dangerous to be too positive, as long as the grapes are still hanging out there!
Carel Voorhuis, Domaine d’Ardhuy

I’ll be starting tomorrow (Tuesday) with my two parcels of Volnay 1er Cru (Pitures and Taillepieds), which are already above 13%. The grapes are in wonderful shape, as the soil here was dry enough to absorb most of the water without it getting into the grapes. In fact, I did maturity sampling on 1 September (before the rain) and again yesterday, the 6th (after the rain). There was very little change in the weight of 100 grapes, and some parcels even showed a concentration, with the weight falling. That says most of the water was absorbed by the soil. My sugars yesterday ranged from just under 12% to 13.3% potential alcohol, with no pH above 3.3, and most below. As the weather is forecast to be good over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to harvest over a more extended period of time, with some days off between pickings and processings. That will allow the grapes, which are all in rude health, to complete their phenological maturation, and as a result allow me to do my first whole-bunch red vinifications this year (only a percentage, not 100%). The sugars are rising, the acids are holding fairly steady, and the pHs remain low, so everything is in balance for a spectacular vintage. No rot anywhere in my parcels.
Blair Pethel, Domaine Dublère

“burgundy predicts magnificent 2009”

By billn on September 02, 2009 #vintage 2009

Well that’s the message from the Decanter newsfeed anyway.

Decanter is the best source of wine-related news, but notes like this do them no service. We, (the readers here anyway) already know that things look great, but if Decanter really want to be taken seriously as a news service, rather than repeat, verbatim, industry-body prognostications (marketing communications), they should do some additional investigation of their own – it’s not hard to check the weather forecast is it?

4_castFor the record, the vines seem in at least as good health today, as they did at the same stage of maturity in 2005. But it rained quite a bit yesterday and look at the next days’ weather forecast… Looking on the bright side, the cooler temperatures will, to an extent, mollify the opportunity for rot outbreaks.

Harvest 2009 update

By billn on August 28, 2009 #vintage 2009

Courtesy of Kellen Lignier in Morey St.Denis, pictures from her vineyards, all pictures taken yesterday, commentary is also hers.

Thanks Kellen.

harvest 2009 update

By billn on August 26, 2009 #asides#vintage 2009

summer sun

A couple of selected quotes from this week:

David Clarke @ Morey:

Things are looking good. The weather has essentially been warm and very occasionally stormy since my last update. The storms have brought a few millimetres of unneeded rain, but thankfully nothing worse. The forecast is also dry and sunny for the next week so optimism is definitely rising. There is still no rot and we are around 10% potential alcohol already. The acidity is relatively low, but I think many people are now hoping for something at little better than the 1997 vintage I mentioned a few weeks ago. I still feel the skins are quite thick and tough so would like to wait until around the 19th if possible, but will be ready to advance that by as much as a week if the weather dictates.

Juliette Chenu @ Savigny:

So far the vines are very nice, we have had rain ( small ) twice, but it did not affect the general quality. Tha sanitary state is beautiful…
We have had a lot of sun this august compaired to the last years. And if we trust the forecasts we will have another week of sun. We are planning to harvest around the 7/10 of September. From the BIVB technical bulletin, depending on the elements, the state of the vines can be compaired to 2006/2002 or 2005..We will know more in a weeks time..But we say that August makes the moût..So it is good news you can give…

And for those with a more technical interest:
Source: BIVB Infos, 25-Aug-2009

Here comes Harvest…

By Ray Walker on August 20, 2009 #ray's posts#vintage 2009

Well, not too long ago, I was planning my first trip to Burgundy. Now, days away from leaving to Burgundy to begin my first Harvest in Burgundy, I simply cannot believe how fast time has flown.

My days leading up to my Saturday departure are filled with contracts on facilities, barrel purchases, and a host of other things to work out such as cleaning supplies and basically all of the bits no one goes in thinking about.

After a few hurdles (…well, much more than a few) such as changing facilities twice, it seems that things have worked out exceedingly well. Grapes are sorted, along with facility, legal obstacles, tanks (1 wooden, 14 cement vats by Marc Nomblot) and I couldn’t be more pleased with how things are progressing.

I will keep everyone updated once I am in Beaune.


in the vines…

By billn on August 08, 2009 #picture gallery#vintage 2009

A quick update on the situation in the vines, courtesy of David Clark in (of-course) the Côte de Nuits:

The vines are looking far too good at the moment. I’m doing the green harvest and haven’t found a single botrytised berry yet – plenty time for that to change, of course! I’m looking at harvest maybe the weekend of the 19th, weather permitting, although many will be earlier.

Naturally we need a Côte du Beaune-er for balance – here’s Etienne de Montille’s view:

So far so good for the coming 09 vintage.
Though it was a bit tough for organic growers, we could manage the mildew that was the main difficulty during the season. Grapes look great and well set (normal yield – maybe shorter in white) and nicely shaped grapes well set on the vine. No rot so far…
If we don’t have too much rain, we are pretty optimistic… another vintage in 9 🙂

It’s actually raining today in the Côtes and the forecast is for a couple more days too, but generally the mood is positive, but let’s think only of the sun…

Peter Palmetshofer, a long term correspondent and occasional organiser of great wine dinners shared with me (and you) these pictures of Mickey the horse in Romanée-Conti from last weekend – when there was plenty of sun!

Peter: Date/time was Saturday 1. August, 9:40 exactly. Normally ploughing is finished earlier not to hurt the berries, but due to the wet weather the weeds are growing that fast, producers working with herbicides will have serious problems in 2009, thats for sure. Mickey is gourmand, as you can see some Romanée Conti leaves on his muzzle. Correct description would be Mickey working with Monsieur Denis, that’s for sure. But it was Mr Denis who authorized me to enter RC.

Burgundy Report

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