Vintage 2011

harvest – nicolas rossignol (volnay)

By billn on September 23, 2011 #harvests#vintage 2011

A vintage summary and some nice pics from Nicolas Rossignol:

Many pictures and stories !

A tricky vintage in all the world , a winemaker from NZ came to work with me and he told me hard vintage in NZ this year, see the best and the worst !

As in france !

I spent time with Olivier Lamy, Thomas Bouley and Davis Croix in the vineyard before harvest, to taste our grappes, to decide when to start, and we saw the grapes of some neighbours …. not the same vintage for everybody, for people how worked hard in the vineyard vintage will be easy, beautifull small grappes, small berries, black and blue, ripe ( even with a low level of sugar, 11.5 12 % no more ) perfectly healthy, that’s why i used so much whole bunch ! With pommard fremiers and volnay chevret 100% ! , no more than 5 % rot in the worst vineyard ! when some people said 15 20% and pink grapes!
At the end: dark colors, lot of nice fruits, élégant tanins, really charming wines, not for a long keeping but very well balanced, and like each time good estate gonna make very good wines for the others it’s gonna be very hard !


harvest – closer to home…

By billn on September 22, 2011 #vintage 2011

Just to show what an egalitarian I am 😉

Here are some pictures from ‘Emmental’ an occasional commenter here – he picked his own pinot noir on the 15th September (only about 90 miles from my house) in Vully. Vully is in the Swiss Canton of Fribourg, close to lake Neuchâtel.

Emmental in his comment here notes that the physical characteristics of his grapes were similar to those of the Côte d’Or this year, and he notes a yield of 600 grams per square metre – I’m sure he will correct me, but I roughly calculate that to be the equivalent of 2.43 tones per acre, or (not surprisingly!) exactly 6 tonnes per hectare. Now according to wikipedia, one hectolitre of red wine needs 130 kg of grapes, so 6,000/130 = 46 hl/ha.

That’s the best that I can come up with at this time of the morning 🙂

harvest – a couple of quotes

By billn on September 17, 2011 #vintage 2011

More for fun than info:

Laurent Ponsot:

“Today’s our last harvest day (Friday 16th!) and for sure I’m quite busy… I’m working one month per year and it’s now!!! More to come in a while on that subject…”

Yves Confuron (de Courcel):

“I’m up to my neck in it, we finish today” (that’s Saturday 17th!)

harvest – domaine louis chenu (savigny)

By billn on September 15, 2011 #harvests#vintage 2011

Très vite alors, nous n’avons pas eu de pluie, ce qui a été presque miraculeux . Nous avons commencé les vendanges le 1er septembre et terminé le 7 . Avec une bonne équipe d’habitués . L’ambiance était très bonne . Nous avons triés deux parcelles plus abîmées sur la table, sinon, les vendangeurs ont bien trié et ensuite d’autres triaient sur les caisses . Les degrés ne ont pas très élevés mais correctes . La vendanges en rouge est peu abondante mais au final de bonne qualité, il y a plus de volume en blanc .
Pour les rouges, nous pensons que le vin sera très fruité et souple avec une belle couleur . C’est un peu tôt, mais il semble que 2011 est plutôt prometteur . Une année de surprises jusqu’au bout ..
Je joins quelques photos .

Or try this dodgy translation 😉

harvest – so sad…

By billn on September 10, 2011 #vintage 2011

No more reports from the home domaine this year. A treasured team member and friend was lost on Thursday night whilst heading home to Santenay; hit by a drunk driver near Meursault. The last fruit is coming in today, even the Hautes Côtes which was in theory going to wait another week – it’s time to close the door on 2011 at the domaine.

So sad.

harvest – 6th & 7th september

By billn on September 08, 2011 #vintage 2011

Tuesday was a relatively quiet day at the home domaine, lucky considering the loss of a team-member, so I chose to roll it into Wednesday’s report. Incredibly given that every day for that last 10 was forecast to rain (two days out) the team remain warm and dry – only the short shower of Sunday morning remains in the memory. There is still rain forecast, but most are now ignoring those forecasts.

Tuesday: Pinot from Ladoix was the only delivery of the day; a very nice plot that’s 100% biodynamically farmed – maybe that’s why about 12% was eventually discarded for a combination of sins – rot or just clumsy bunches of grapes with questionable ripeness. It’s worth pointing out that (including those vines that follow) the average amount discarded this year has been at about the 5% level, spanning 3-12%. Only a couple of plots (Santenay Comme and this Ladoix) have gone over 10%, so this is historically very low, excepting the ‘exceptionals’ like 2005 and 2009.

Wednesday: Plenty of grapes today and ones that looked rather good too. You already saw a pic of the Lavaux St.Jacques in yesterday’s ‘Facebook bunches’ note, but they were nice clusters of small berries – similar to the Vosne vieilles vignes of last week. 7% were discarded after triage. Then came Charmes-Chambertin; the grapes looked just as good as the Lavaux, but were probably picked in the nick of time as they were completely ripe and the individual grapes were becoming a little fragile – because of that 8% were triaged.

Two whites also hit the triage table; Beaune Lulune and Meursault Les Luchets – clean and with good pH – a happy team.

In the cuverie some of the ferments are just about starting and the colour seems to be extracting relatively easily. In some cuvées there seems to be a bit more tartaric acid than usual – lower malic usually indicates a warm growing season – but there’s no point giving any detail at this stage as it’s only the free-run juice that has provided that glimpse – real numbers will come after extraction when the grapes have been pigeaged, remontaged, delestaged or just plain pressed – let’s see.

harvest – the facebook bunches…

By billn on September 06, 2011 #vintage 2011

It’s become a bit of an ‘in-joke’ but let me introduce you to the concept of the Facebook Bunches.

Many producers have cottoned onto the fact that they can keep-up a stream of contact with people interested in their wines; past visitors to the domaine or enthusiasts, etcetera. It also seems that this is good for business – though let’s be clear, they need to have a good product in the first place! I think it started in an understated way with the 2008 vintage; pictures of happy vignerons clutching a basket of perfect grapes or giving updates on the progress of their own vintage trials – initially it was for a close circle of friends but it’s expanded every year since then. Of-course we have a bit of fun with each other; ‘how many days did it take you to find those three bunches?‘ queries another vigneron.

My home team’s contribution (so far) is the Lavaux St.Jacques, right (though, as far as I know, it’s not actually on Facebook…), but I also offer for your delectation a selection of contenders for the Facebook Bunch Of The Year 2011 – I’m thinking that Alexandrine’s bucket has it in the bag so-far – could your vote tip the balance…?

I’m sure that only a heartless cynic would describe any of this as ‘marketing‘ 😉

harvest – 5th september

By billn on September 06, 2011 #vintage 2011

 Domaine Grivot’s 2011 Richebourg

Talk about rain gods – they must have benevolent eyes for the Côte d’Or – so-far anyway. Despite driving through two hours of rain on my way home on Sunday, the Côtes stayed dry – amazing.

Monday at the home domaine was a tough one, but not because of the grapes but because the home team were suffering; the boss has angina and another of the team broke his wrist (away from the domaine I think!) and is now ‘out’ for 6 weeks.

The Monday grapes were pretty good; I already mentioned the scruffy Santenay which had been picked on Sunday, but after triage the grapes that went to the tanks looked very good indeed – small berried clusters that optically had a lot in common with Saturday’s Vosne-Romanée. Marsannay was next up and this was a little more disappointing – not because of rot, but rather the berry size was a bit larger than the boss would have liked. Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers (chardonnay) was apparently a treat for the eyes – lovely grapes. Tuesday is a little Ladoix, but the pinot Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune grand crus will wait for the end of the week, as will some Maranges and Santenay Clos Rousseau.

The fermentations are rather slow – a good thing as everyone is busy with incoming grapes – some might even say that the fermentations are non-existant so far. The colour is coming through quite well but the combination of low brix (aka sugar) and high-ish pH has the boss questioning himself ‘how exactly am I going to approach my extractions(?)’ Well, we don’t want him to have TOO easy a life do we, angina and all…

And good news – vendanger Mark de Morey is back – the first installment from him very soon…

Finally, a very simple harvest message from Domaine Jean Grivot: “Vendanges 2011 terminées!!” – wow – that was fast!

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