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4th september – smells, no whites & improving nuits

chardThe weather is amazing; the few drops of rain in Beaune yesterday came to nothing, but today it’s sunny, the north wind is blowing – and it’s cold! It really is like an an October harvest even though were are in the first week of September. The home team boss is even joking about making a ‘selection grains nobles’ from Corton-Charlemage!

As I mentioned the Charlemagne, what of the whites? Well apparently they are still not ripe enough – Dominique Lafon has put off his harvest to next week, many, if not most, will follow suit.

I asked a few more questions about the smelly Taillepieds:

“We looked at the grapes on the vines and they looked bad – we had this bacterial problem from the same parcel last year – so I really considered to pull out of the contract. The grower convinced us to test some of the grapes, and actually they seemed okay – so we went ahead. As the fruit from the first basket hit the sorting table the cry went out – ‘what is that smell?’. So we ended up having to smell every single cluster as a check – there is no other way – a perfect looking bunch can smell bad, an ugly one be perfectly okay – your eyes don’t help. Actually we had less than 5% botrytis in this parcel so it can’t be the main factor, but we still ended up throwing 30% away. It’s probably a mixture of site, viticulture and clone – certainly you get huge clusters from this parcel. Despite us all having sticky noses by the end, I think the effort should have been worthwhile, the must looks, smells and tastes fine – so let’s see.”

Today it’s a village Beaune that’s making the commute across the sorting table: though, earlier in the year the grapes had been hit by hail they have 13° natural and look almost good and homogenous – they will be fine. Although tomorrow will be villages Volnay and Beaune 1er Cru Les Avaux we are now starting to look more closely at the Côte de Nuits fruit. I hear that the Latricières doesn’t look so hot – but it didn’t in 2004 either yet Burghound bestowed 90-92 big ones! Villages Vosne looks good too – Friday or Saturday is anticipated for these – seems life will be much easier as the teams go deeper into Nuits.

Just to prove the weather was nice, Carel Voorhuis sent me the following picture:

ardhuy in sunshine
He also sent a picture showing today’s Savigny 1er Cru Peuillets showing over 14°!

Next update Thursday or Friday.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?