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burgundy 2013 harvest – thursday 10th october…

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One week’s work!

After finishing last night, we tasted the juice from the Corton-Charlemagne we triaged on Tuesday – dark golden, almost viscous and really quite lovely for sweet grape juice 😉 An average ex-domaine price for Corton-Charlemagne is ~€50 (without tax) so the domaine would have to increase its price to €250 to make the normal return – it’s not going to happen is it…(?) Then we visited another producer who was just beginning to add a ‘traditional’ 0.5%. I thought it quite funny that it should be unrefined ‘organic’ sugar – but why not 🙂

I left Beaune this evening as I arrived 8 days ago – bathed in sunlight – that was rather improbable given how the day started. Sometime before 6:00am there was quite heavy rain, not for long, but wet enough, fortunately we were precipitation-less until at least 09:30 thereafter. I spared a thought for those pickers out in the cold, wet and wind this morning – including ours – and that was before it really did start raining again!

We ‘manned’ the triage table early because there were Santenay villages grapes to triage that we didn’t get around to the night before, a 21:45pm finish was quite late enough, thank-you 😉 It was palpably colder today, probably not much more than 10°, but by 09:00 there was a sneaky wind too, and damn cold it was – by 10:00 I’d added a fourth layer of clothing – dancing by the triage table had little to do with the quality of the grapes, or the selection from the team iPod! For an hour or so, rain returned to accompany the sorting. The grapes were pretty awful it must be said – the ripeness and taste were mainly fine enough, but again there had been little resembling triage at the vines – I could only describe some of what was cut as resembling turds – I flinched even to pick them up from the triage table (yuk!) Occasional cases of ‘fruit’ seemed to contain turds and unripe fruit in equal measure, yet others seemed fine enough – we earned our crusts triaging today – I even had to stop the table once while we sorted what was before us – I haven’t done that since 2004…

2-WP_20131010_002Lunch was über-welcome by 12:45, a French dish resembling Shepherd’s Pie, to accompany we started with Cloudy Bay 2006 Pinot, then (finally) the La Tâche 2000, we were then tempted by an 04 Latricières (had to look very hard for the P, only faintly spotted it, quite fleetingly too), a 1997 Volnay Pitures and a 1976 Volnay Champans – a tough last lunch – and that’s without mentioning the starter, the cheese and (of-course!) the tarte aux chocolat…

Back to the table; more Santenay – will it ever end? At least we were seeing a better average quality of fruit, despite the occasional turd! Finally the Santenay was finished after nearly 5.5 hours of triage – medals should have been awarded – but let’s be fair, we were awarded a pain-au-chocolat with a coffee at 10:30 🙂 Next up came grapes that I’d been looking forward to – the (traditional) Facebook grapes from Maranges from the Monday. These were also no saints, as there was a little rot here too, but we were able to make the trie at a minimum of 3x faster than before. They tasted nice too.

Finally I had to leave, at least for this week – I couldn’t stand any more Van Morrison. Maybe more next week?

2 responses to “burgundy 2013 harvest – thursday 10th october…”

  1. Roelof Ligtmans

    Hi Bill,

    thanks for summing up very graphically the finale of this year “à la con”.

    We fortunately had a little less “turds” on the table de triage (we rather call the “mice”, as they are totally gray and fluffy, really like a mouse sometimes), but we easily recognize all you have described. This has been a very difficult vintage with terrible weather, and nevertheless the fruit harvested wasn’t so bad at all – we’ll see what it turns into during vinification. Another “année de vigneron”, thats’s for sure.

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