Arlaud Vendange Day 3, Monday 26th Sept 2016
The aforementioned rest day arrives. ‘Overslept’ until 7.30, extremely fatigued by the previous two days exertions, but was still first into the refectoire. Boy though, was I stiff in the legs and hips areas. Initially, I concentrated on computing, writing, camera downloads & photo editing – all very time consuming.
Main event/focus of the morning from this unexpected free time was to get myself and the car down to the VW Dealership in Ladoix, somewhere I’d passed many times but never for a second thought I’d venture through the gates, let alone the showroom door. Quite entertaining experiencing a French dealership – seemed just the same, barring the language as the English ones. Eventually, in my limited French, having sought to explain my predicament and car repair required, I ended up sat with smiley, cheery, Fred, who seemed to be some sort of chief mechanic, if a youngish guy, and in (clean) overalls (other than the ‘regulation’ whites shirts and seeming de rigeur tight, narrow pants of the salesroom guys). Fred came out to my poor damaged Bora with me, inspected it briefly, taking a photo of the window with his phone and noting its VW details. We then returned to the showroom and his computer where he proceeded to take all my details bar my inside leg measurement ! My UK Post Code seemed to cause notable consternation in terms of entering but eventually, surmounting the language barrier between us, he seemed confident the repair would be straightforward but, as I’d fully expected, they’d need to get the part in (the window glass). He suggested that would be the next day so I promised to return with the car and leave it, Fred for his part suggesting only Tuesday morning would be needed and I could call back for it Tues lunch or evening. Hum !!!! The best laid plans……………see later.
I’d used my run down to Ladoix & back to Morey to spot the small roadside arrow signs pointing to domaine locations, mentally filing these away, for possible future visits e.g. D…… & Ravaut. On the way back rambled my way through sleepy Chambolle, not much happening at all (in fact nothing !). I’d seen very little signs of vendanging life during my there & back to Ladoix – just the very odd (as in rare) team alone in a vast sea of vines. From Chambolle taking the ‘high road’ to Morey I spied a team at work in Bonnes-Mares and stopped for a look/chat. They greeted me cheerfully as Domaine Bruno Clair, one of the guys pointing to an older, greying, guy sat on tractor & attached trailer with grape cases as the man himself. If this was BC he greeted me pleasantly, professing himself happy with the cut grape quality – certainly looked ok to me. There didn’t seem to be ‘that’ many cutters and, if I hadn’t been in smart attire, I’d have happily offered to help.
And so back to the village domaine buildings for lunch where the rest of the resident guys and Herve were already tucking in. An interesting event occurred as we finished lunch, and can’t remember now who came in with it (might have been local vendangeur Daniel), but someone arrived with a ‘parcel’ which happened to be a large, if not huge, Common Carp, frozen stiff, wrapped in cling film. I’ve never been fortunate to have caught such a fish in my freshwater fishing days (mainly my youth) but I’d estimate its weight at between 10-15 lbs. This prompted much appreciative conversation, and many references to Le Carp (if there was any doubt what the poisson was), with debate on how to best prepare and cook it. This would be a new first for me but more of that for Day 4 evening.
Early afternoon I returned to, & concentrated, on my computing for Bill. Cyprien had told me there was now (shock horreur, wonders will never cease !) l’internet at our residency but I should see Basile for more detail.
However, I had more in mind for maximising the rest of the day than being chained to my laptop so mid afternoon set off for Beaune with a view to picking up my 2013’s Le Grappin order having been ever so politely approached by Emma pre vendange if I could collect given Le G’s limited space. Managed to go straight to the Le G premises which chuffed me. Found them all hard at work bar Andrew who’d ‘nipped out’. My mission ended as something of a fool’s errand though as Emma explained the storage bottles were off site and needed notice to arrange collection and, if I understood correctly, needed labelling. Guess I should have anticipated but I hadn’t so agreed to come back post vendange.
Quick thought process with time on my hands pre needing to be back en Morey for evening meal had me head to beloved Pernand-Vergelesses and a call in to my still fondly remembered Dubreuil-Fontaine (‘D-F’). Initially met cuddly office lady, Bernadette, who told me she would be retiring April 2017 – what a shame as she’s been lovely with me. Before heading uphill to the cuverie I commiserated with Bernadette on the sad death previously of Bernard Dubreuil. To add to this Bernadette told me that as we spoke Christine’s husband, Nicolas, was in hospital having a back operation that day hence, as Bernadette put it with some drama, Christine would be ‘alone’ for the vendange. I asked about buying some wine and was handed the price list (carte) but with Bernadette pointing out a number of unavailable, sold out, wines which amazed me as until now one could count on D-F to have a v good selection. No blanc premier crus made for an easy decision there so settled on 6 packs of each of the P-V Village 2014 blanc and Beaune 2013 1er cru ‘Montrevenots’. Concluding the purchases and with a fond good by to Bernadette I headed uphill to the cuverie. Here came across Christine in conversation with two very nice older local couples notwithstanding which she greeted me in the most delightfully warmest fashion. Leaving her to conclude her conversation I said ‘hello’ to 3 or 4 of the same cuverie staff there in my ‘day’ and helped them with their final washing/brushing up. Christine came to join us & asked if I’d stay for a degustation – ‘yes please’! Over a very pleasant Aligote I heard how their vendange was going well other than decimation of certain terroirs/parcelles. Christine quoted me some figures which I should have written down, but suffice to say they were Cotes de Beaune horrific. She told me the Cortons were actually ok & largely unaffected – good, but only I suppose if one has the funds to buy them idc. Said my regretful good bye’s as they are all lovely people – if I wasn’t now so ‘embedded’ at Arlaud I’d return to D-F in a heartbeat, and may yet do so one day as I feel I owe it to them.
Treated my fellow evening diners to a bottle of each of my purchases. I normally bring some wines with me but didn’t have time on this occasion to get a few together so manic rushed was the run up to my departure from the UK. The Pernand ’14 Village blanc was steely, mineral, just a touch of miele delicious. The Beaune Montrevenots ’13 went down well but personally surprised me at its softness and (low) level of acidity. My previous experience of this wine (deliciously) all relates to the 2008 but this one was nothing like how I recalled the earlier vintage bottles. Very strawberry & raspberry fruited though, easy to drink.
And so to bed but with an unfortunate, if annoying (very!), twist in that Sebastian the traveller hippy type (and suspect he’d fallen asleep) was playing loud, dull thudding, repetitive music from his room, and there’s a stairway to a loft space in between our rooms (not to heaven) which woke me at around 2.30 a.m – 3.00 a.m. and destroyed the rest of my night’s sleep, although the noise did eventually stop. This was something to be tackled later and was (to be continued !).
Day 4 details to follow when we eventually move away from the Bourgognes (and how), have Le Carp served up for our evening meal and things continue to escalate re Sebastian. Meantime I’m sending some pics of today, including our evening fare but as ever its up to Bill how many he ‘publishes’.