April is a time when you can easily see the chemical warfare that hides within many expensive bottles with a Puligny-Montrachet label – there is no excuse…
– with the weather!
The vines are only about 10 days ahead of the average – so-far – this year. The year has been incredibly dry too – you can walk in all the vineyards – the clay is hard and/or powder – or, more like pottery as one vigneron described it! But tonight it’s changing – rain is already falling – and the temperature will also do so. Today was 20°C – tomorrow may be below 10°C. There’s also the possibility of frost on Thursday evening.
So-far, apart from particular clones – 99% of leaves are held tightly within their buds – they won’t unduly be bothered by -2°C – but the precocious ones will be more borderline, particularly if it’s wet beforehand. In preparation, I saw candles already deployed in two young-vines sections in Puligny – climat Rue Rousseau (Just below Bienvenues but villages-rated) and 1er cru Clos de la Mouchère. Of-course, you could also go Hi-Tech with your own wind machine – it’s probably more environmentally friendly too!
Above the ‘lucky’ winemakers I managed to visit last week on a whirlwind tour of practically the whole of (greater) Burgundy – I missed a little Mâcon, but there were representatives from the Auxerrois, Chablis, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte de Chalonnais and the Beaujolais. 100 wines tasted blind too.
Included were some well-known faces that I couldn’t fit in at the end of last year, 8 new domaines – first visits – for me, plus blind tastings of Vézelay, Irancy and Beaujolais Blanc. Hyper interesting, and as a partner-piece to my tasting, last year, of 2017-2006 Chablis with DIAM seals, last week I did similar with screw-caps – in this case comparing with their cork-sealed analogues – most intriguing results too! All in the March Report…
Above the ‘lucky’ winemakers I visited on week 2 of my oddessy in Beaujolais – okay not so much of an oddessy – due to a couple of hitches I won’t quite reach a total of 50 domaines – but almost. I’m back for just two days of visits next week to sign-off on this month’s Beaujolais visits.
A week of practically perfect weather – frost in the night but finishing the week with 16°C in the afternoons – the butterfies are already on the wing – the forecast is for consistent weather for at least the next 10 days. Vigneron(ne)s are loving it – they can get into the vines and plough or prune, but the overnight frosts, despite the warmth of the afternoons, means that the vines are not yet stirring or currently weeping when pruned – the melting of the frost and then the re-freezing also helps to break-up and aerate the ground – particularly where there’s appreciable clay.
Anyway a few views from the end of this week, plus a quick visit to the foot of the Eiger, yesterday: