Here, for your info, is a personal view of 2017 from the Château du Moulin à Vent. It should be noted, however, that their’s is a view based on being located in the area that was really brutalised by the hail in 2017. 95% of Beaujolais, however, had ‘normal’ yields and healthy fruit. Their results – the wines – will be very interesting to approach in another year-or-so…
Just a stunning day today in the Côte de Beaune – perhaps in other places too 🙂
25°C was easily attained in the latter half of the afternoon, and whilst the colours in the vines might have been just that little bit better last week – we’ve lost some leaves and others have browned since then – it was also rather fine today. I’m guessing that the colours won’t last too long, as the weather will change to rain in a couple of days (allegedly) and many leaves will start to fall – let’s see….
Also noted today was the first signs of the Autumn murmurations! This is when skies fill with birds – mainly starlings I think – and the trees of Beaune fill with them in the evenings too, so don’t park under them – you have been warned! There are not that many birds in town yet, but in the vines of Meursault and Puligny, they are gathering!
Below, the first image was taken in Puligny towards Clos de la Garenne, all the rest are from the Clos St.Jean side of Chassagne, towards St.Aubin and Puligny. It’s very easy at the moment to differentiate the blocks of vines, the chardonnay showing as green-gold and the pinot as red-gold:
99.9% of the harvesting is now over, only the late finishers of the Côte de Nuits (and maybe Hautes Côtes!) such as Damoy, Ponsot and Grivot seem to be unfinished. Even Marko de Morey finished his harvesting yesterday – surviving a weekend bout of a sore throat and heavy head-cold – so didn’t join us for breakfast on Sunday! The weather wasn’t particularly great at the weekend, but is set fair and quite cool this week – perfect for those who are finishing off.
To confirm previous discussions, wines – red and white – seem to have pHs of about 3.2-3.3 with normal, roughly equal, quantities of tartaric and malic acids this year. This is fine for the reds, if rather more modest (pH) for whites.
I have this in my mailbox from the people at Interbeaujolais – bigging-up their 2017 harvest:
The harvest ends in the Beaujolais, the focus moving from the vineyards to the cellars.
“The highlight of the harvest took place the first fortnight of September an ideal time for the winemaker. 2017 will remain a year strongly influenced by the hazards of the weather. A little spring frost, violent hailstorms in early summer, and fairly widespread drought conditions.
In the areas most affected by water stress a ‘saving’ rain just before the harvest allowed the grapes to recover the freshness that was missing for optimal maturity, allowing the Gamay can express its fruity and aromatic potential. There were no disease pressures in 2017, only a lack of water, the state of health was perfect and the grapes of very high quality – they were concentrated, with a nice acid balance – the thick and firm skins, shot berries and low juice proportions being the guarantors of a good concentration.
The first tastings reveal wines perfectly balanced between acidity, fruit and tannins. The roots had to dig deeper into the soil to feed, and it seems that the remarkable terroirs still express better than usual. While it is still early to qualify precisely, the 2017 vintage looks in any case of great quality. The volumes, as unfortunately in many other French vineyards, will be low.”
Source: Inter Beaujolais Press Office
Nuits St.Georges – almost a double rainbow 5 minutes later…
Today was more like April – despite a dry forecast – the showers came blustery and sometimes heavy. There was even hail at lunchtime at Gevrey rail-station – but the localised nature of these squalls seems to have completely missed the Route des Grands Crus. A quick coffee in Gevrey (with Huguette!) and then we took the vineyard road as far as Vosne-Romanée before the route nationale back to Beaune.
Yesterday there was almost no-one in the vines – there weren’t many today, but first we met a small team from Henri Rebourseau who were picking Mazis-Chambertin. A little further down the road, on the other side were a team from Pierre Damoy who were bringing in some Chapelle-Chambertin. Further down the hillside in Charmes-Chambertin was another team – but I decided not to slide down the wet grass bank to ask who!
Approaching the invisible boundary with Morey St.Denis there was the smallest team I’ve seen – two people! – in Latricières-Chambertin – from Chantal Remy in Morey. They said that they would probably be finishing their harvest on Sunday. The team seemed to be mainly cleaning at Domaine Ponsot – apparently they will finish in a little less than one week – they are still waiting for the maturity in Monts Luisants and their Clos de la Roche. At Taupenot-Merme are close to finishing their harvest, a little aligoté passing over the triage table was one of their last vineyards to be picked.
Onwards towards Vosne-Romanée and up a side ‘street’ a team was getting involved in some Echézeaux picking – this was Domaine Grivot – and they have at least another 5 days of harvesting to go. Then onwards through the rainbow back to Beaune!
And for a little fun – do you want to see how much work Thibault Liger-Belair’s team put into their Richebourg? Hand-destemming every grape…