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harvest – 26th september

sunday vendanges ladybirds and corton rognetsIt’s Sunday, and surprise, surprise, it’s not raining.

The previous evening we had a lovely soup (sorry chef it was better with a pinch of salt!) and the quenelles with a lobstery sauce – one of our antipodean colleagues decribed them as ‘French dumplings’ – a great call methinks! To drink was a 2008 Bourgogne Blanc from Domaine Dublère ‘Cuvée Millerandes‘ – very nice, indeed powerful, the acidity not quite seamless in the finish, but this was way above standard bourgogne level. For a bit of fun we tried the ‘cooking wine’ next; a Camille Giroud 1996 Monthélie – actually it was drinkable, blind you might think it smelled Italian as it spent so much time in oak. The last one was André Cathiard 1989 Vosne Les Suchots – all strawberry fruit, ginger and lace – a bit shorter than it could have been -probably some of its years had been spent ‘too warm’, but still a wine to contemplate.

Back to today. The pickers have been out early again and by 9:00am everything set to triage some Ladoix. We have to slow the table down a little as we need to weed out the unripe and some rot – I’d say it’s about a 2006 to 2008 level of rot (and the average of 2006 and 2008 is not 2007 before somebody says it!) After about 2 hours we’re strainght into Savigny 1er Les Peuillets and despite also having to watch for under-ripe bunches and rot, it’s on a much lower level than the Ladoix – lovely grapes, almost with the cleanlines of 2009 but perhaps some of the berries are swollen because of the rain. Interestingly a few of our red friend with black spots on their wings could be found in the triaged material for throwing away – I never saw one in the triage table or in the winery though…

Lunch! The eggy-salad played havoc with the first wine, my first pinot noir from British Columbia (actually my first wine of any kind from BC!). Great label design; a bear carrying a gramaphone talking to a ‘maiden’ – I had to explain to the previously referenced antipodean that the bear was holding an earlier version of the iPod. Anyway the 2007 Foxtrot Okanagan Valley smelled great, and once we moved onto the coq-au-vin it was a nicely composed, well balanced drink. Following was Méo-Camuzet’s 93 Corton Rognets. My first one of these was lovely but the last one was compromised and cloudy – this was the same. Drinkable – even good – there was nothing particularly amiss with the nose and we finished it no problem.

The weather was so good – we were even enjoying sunshine – that the pickers were called to do duty in Beaune 1er Les Avaux, and then Corton Rognets. The Beaune was quite a mix; relively clean but the average berry size was bigger than the Savigny. The last grapes from Corton Rognets were stunners, triaging alone I bet I had to pull out no more than 10kg from two pallet-loads of fruit. Tiny berries, beautifully blue-black in colour. The skins tasted to have some tannin, so we chickened out of whole cluster despite optically having grapes of 2005 quality. And there we are – now it’s 7:30pm and time to start the big clean-up!

2 responses to “harvest – 26th september”

  1. Claude Kolm

    Bill — Are you seeing ladybirds/bugs or just fooling around? Also, those you picture are not the notorious Asian ones that suddenly appeared in the 2004 vintage.

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