The 2010 vintage in Burgundy is a success in spite of delicate weather conditions. 2000 years of history indeed allowed the vineyards and the men to adapt in Burgundy, to all the situations. Far from being a coincidence, this longevity is the proof that the vineyards have found in this northern part of France a predilection, while adapting to the climatic variations. Here, to make wine is an art. The Burgundian wine growers know how to show discernment, a big capacity of adaptation and know-how to obtain the best of every vintage. The state-of-the-art tools of weather forecasts, the analytical controls and tasting of the grapes establish so many elements to anticipate and reason with each of the determining stages leading to the harvest. Tasting the grapes was particularly crucial this year, allowing a follow-up of the evolution and the aromatic potential; this was the key point of this vintage. Here, the level of maturity and the sanitary state determined the date of harvest. If usually the choice of the harvesting dates is made by colour (traditionally red then white), the wine growers, worried about the quality, alternated between red and white plots of land. The small obtained yields are a result at the same time of the skill of pruning, from the coulure and from the millerandage engendered by the weather conditions of the spring and the delicate task of sorting the grapes when they arrived at the winery. The winemakers knew then how to work with the harvest to reveal the beautiful balance of sugar-acidity, without distorting the aromatic expression. No doubt that 2010 Burgundy reserves beautiful surprises to all wine amateurs!
Born of a rather unusual weather report (but maybe this is what to expect now when we look at 2012), the 2011 vintage is characterized by aromas and generous flavours. These wines will be appreciated in their early life. The forecast of 2011 started triumphantly, on an exceptional precocity, before giving way to a cool, wet and sometimes very stormy summer. As often, the end of August, really brightened up, “ripened the must”. For the third time in 10 years, the grape harvests begun in the last 10 days of August, in a thoughtful disorder: every plot of land was harvested at its best maturity, the sun of the beginning of September and the low rainfall gave us reason for this early harvest. The serious sorting of grapes produced fruity and silky red and whites full of energy. Work and seriousness paid off. The harvest took place in good conditions, while the early summer had shown itself a little uncertain. A good maturity and generally the sanitary state were satisfactory which gave us wines of beautiful quality. Very aromatic, dominated by elegant notes of fruit, the reds of the Côte de Beaune are characterized by a dense and corpulent mouth with soft and velvet tannins. Delicious and delicate, the red wines from this vintage will undoubtedly count amongst the greatest.
Unheard of! That is what the Burgundian professionals say of the weather report for this year. Facing temperamental weather conditions, they doubled their efforts to obtain the best of their vineyards. The first tastings reassure. From north to south of Burgundy, it is unanimous: the quality of wines in the course of elaboration is excellent, unhoped-for in view of weather conditions. The only dark shadow, the quantities of grapes harvested are well below the average, around 20 % less according to the estimations (definitive figures will be available at the beginning of 2013). Mild winter, early spring in March, cold and frost in the spring, early summer in May, cool and rain in June, the summer was unstable, heat wave, hail, thunderstorms a heavy weather program, which did not spare the vineyards. The cold and the humidity of the spring engendered coulure (not enough blossom), millerandage (incomplete pollenisation of the flower which gives small bunches) and a big risk of mildew and powdery mildew. The brief but strong hot season of the summer caused scalding and burning of the grapes. These phenomena’s, arose before the period of maturation, and significantly reduced the harvest, without impacting on the quality of grapes. On the contrary, the well spaced out clusters of grapes guaranteed concentration and intensity. Having had to compromise with the natural elements and fight from day to day, the men, and their equipment, have triumphed but are exhausted from this vintage. During the harvest, under the sun, it is a healthy crop exempt from disease and rot that joined the wineries.
Rare, the 2012 vintage from burgundy will be only more precious!
After the challenges thrown at them in 2012, Bourgogne winemakers were hoping for a peaceful 2013. But capricious Mother Nature had other ideas. Defying all weather forecasts, she never let up. After a long winter, a gloomy spring and a fine, providential summer, for the most part, the pickers had to wait until the start of October to take up their secateurs. The consequences of the weather’s whims – such as shatter and millerandage, hail damage, concentration and disease – all had an impact on the quantities harvested. Across the region, no winegrowing area was spared. Some had very low yields with volumes equal to or even less than those recorded in 2012 (1.26 million hectoliters1). Fortunately, the first tastings suggest that 2013 is a very successful vintage. Once again, experience has made all the difference. It has been a challenging year but the winegrowers of Bourgogne have been rewarded for their pains. We feared the worst, but we were spared! The winter lingered in Bourgogne. From January to July, the temperatures were cool. The sun was notably absent during the first half of the year, and the rain all too frequent. This gloomy weather affected the vines, setting back the growth cycle by around two weeks. In early May, when the first buds had just appeared, torrential rainstorms hit the region. In some plots, the vines spent several days with their roots in water. The weather during flowering and fruit set was no better and by now, the growth cycle was set back by three weeks. A hot, dry and sunny summer provided a welcome change and helped the quality of the grapes, enabling them to mature correctly. July was marked by a violent hailstorm on the Côte de Beaune with 1,350 hectares affected on 23 July. September didn’t help the vines, with the ambient warmth and regular rain encouraging the development of the Botrytis fungus which rots the grapes. It was more limited on those bunches where the grapes were smaller and thus betteraerated. The choice of harvest date was a tough one. Winegrowers had to be very reactive and work fast. This demanding vintage required a lot of effort that, today, has been rewarded with success. The wines are revealing a real aromatic purity and unexpectedly color. The balance in the wines is particularly satisfactory.
All the makings of a great
This latest vintage is very promising indeed, with good yields, although it will not completely make up for low levels ofstock. After another year ofsurprising weather, Septemberlived up to itsreputation and played its part to the full in terms of ripening the grapes. The nascent wines are already promising good things, with lovely balance and intense colors. The final figures for volume won’t be known until early 2015. However, initial estimates mark a return to normal for many producers, although there were a few disparitiesin some areas. In the springtime, the 2014 vintage looked like being an early one and the vines profited from the hot and dry weather, which indicated an abundant harvest and healthy vines. The harvest nonetheless was affected in some places by shatter, when certain flowers do not develop into fruit. On 28 June, the Bourgogne winegrowing region was hit by violent hailstorms. The damage was very considerable in some places, particularly in certain appellations on the Côte de Beaune and around the village of Lugny. For some of these vineyards, this was the second or even third consecutive year they have suffered in this way, seeing their hopes of a good harvest destroyed in a matter of moments. In summer, the sun appeared to have gone on vacation elsewhere, and the advance gained at the start of the cycle wassoon lost. However, despite the wet and chilly weather, maturation began to gather pace at the end of August. The sun returned along with a northerly wind during the first few days of September, providing ideal conditionsfor optimum ripening and ensuring the grapes remain in good health. The Bourgogne winegrowing region, like France’s other winegrowing regions, experienced a few pockets of sour rot. The plots of PinotNoirwhere this occurredwere subjected to strictsorting, both in the vines and in thewinery. This occasional phenomenon waslocalized and was an exception in an otherwise very healthy year. The harvest began in mid‐September, in the sunshine and in good humor. The grapes brought into the wineries were ripe, healthy and aromatic. Fermentation went off without a hitch, and the warm weather at the end of fall allowed the malolactic fermentationsto being quickly.
Red wines :
These red wines offer intense colors, a fruity nose, and concentration in the mouth, with smooth, pleasant tannins, and lovely notes of fresh fruit. They are wonderfully sophisticated, hinting at all the qualities of great red Bourgogne wines.
Simplement sublime !
Parfaits ! En 2015, les raisins étaient juste parfaits. Etat sanitaire irréprochable et maturité optimale, voilà le duo gagnant de cette année. Magnifiques, les équilibres des vins portent la fantastique richesse aromatique de ce millésime. La bonne humeur, déjà perceptible lors des vendanges, s’est transformée en réel bonheur au fil des vinifications et des premières dégustations. La grande homogénéité qualitative et la concentration exceptionnelle, observées du nord au sud, présagent d’un millésime légendaire. Une floraison dès début juin, une véraison enclenchée mi‐juillet et des raisins que l’on commence à récolter fin août. Tout a été vite. Très vite ! La météo a donné le tempo de ce millésime. Les vignerons ont su s’adapter à ce rythme soutenu et à des conditions inhabituelles, récoltant de magnifiques raisins, gages d’un grand millésime ! Ce tableau idyllique est cependant nuancé par les volumes récoltés en rouge, parfois en deçà des espérances. Les vins rouges ont es couleurs intenses et brillantes, en un mot, éclatantes ! Ces vins plein d’énergie dévoilent des arômes d’une complexité incomparable, avec des notes de fruits rouges, mûrs et charnus. Les tanins soyeux et ronds, reflets d’une maturité absolue, leur confèrent équilibre et élégance.
2015 est un très grand millésime déjà gourmand, qui se révèlera au fil des années !
A pleasant surprise
The people of the Bourgogne wine region like a story with a happy ending. The wines of the 2016 vintage have granted this wish, exhibiting a quality that was quite unexpected given the difficult start to the year. Climate events in the spring took a severe toll on the harvest, which will no doubt be among the smallest of the past two decades. Fortunately, this has not stopped producers making wines that will fully live up to the expectations of lovers of Bourgogne. The night of 26-27 April 2016 will remain etched in the memory of all those who live in the Bourgogne region. It brought an historic late frost, when the first leaves had already emerged. While some areas are used to this kind of phenomenon, its territorial spread was exceptional. A few days beforehand, a violent hail storm struck the south of the wine region. And on 27 May, a further episode of hail swept the Mâconnais and the north of Bourgogne. A significant proportion of the future harvest was at risk. While everyone strived to preserve those bunches that had been spared and nurture the vines, no one could imagine how this vintage might end up.
On the summer solstice of 21 June, things turned radically around. After a particularly cold and wet spring, sun and warmth now took over. This sudden change allowed the vines to recover some strength. They made up for the lateness of the start of the growth cycle. After an excess of water, some places were now experiencing drought, fortunately eased by some welcome rain in September, which allowed the fruit to ripen in very good conditions. This continued until the end of October, giving each plot the opportunity to be picked at the ideal moment. The harvests began on 20 September and stretched over one month.
In the end, a vintage of quality.
The harvested grapes were in tip-top condition, ripe and delicious. Another pleasant surprise was that the vines had made the most of the summer to send out new growth, this abundant vegetation offering good prospects for the 2017 vintage. The region’s vineyards nonetheless presented two contrasting sides: Either very little or no harvest on the plots hit by hail or frost; or nice yields in those sectors that were spared. In the course of vinification, the qualitative potential was soon confirmed, with lovely balance, which will give the wines elegance, finesse and structure, for both reds and whites. This constitutes the unexpected signature of this vintage. In 2016, more than ever, each winemaker has left their own mark on their wines, which reflects the unfolding of this unique vintage.
The red wines are a deep yet dazzling red, the colors are surprisingly intense, revealing what the still-shy bouquet does not yet suggest: These are going to be wines that give pleasure. In the mouth they are fresh and soft, confirming this first impression, and underscored by nice breadth. It will take a few more months before we can discover the full personality of these wines.
Millésime 2017, toute l’élégance de la Bourgogne
En 2017, la Bourgogne tire son épingle du jeu, tant au niveau de la qualité que de la quantité. Après plusieurs années de récoltes impactées par les aléas climatiques, elle retrouve, avec 2017, une récolte dont les volumes permettront de satisfaire ses marchés. Mais pas seulement ! Les vins donnent d’ores et déjà envie de découvrir ce millésime élégant. La vigne ayant reconstitué ses réserves pendant l’hiver, elle profite pleinement du printemps très estival, prenant dès le débourrement (début avril) une avance qu’elle conservera jusqu’aux vendanges. Tout s’enchaîne sans temps mort. Dès la mi-juin, les parcelles sont en fleurs, puis très rapidement en fruits. La précocité du millésime se confirme. L’été connaît quelques épisodes caniculaires, qui alternent avec une météo plus mitigée. Toutefois, la maturation se poursuit sur un bon rythme. Fin août, les premiers raisins sont récoltés, avec 2 semaines d’avance par rapport à la moyenne. Les vendanges se poursuivent jusqu’à la mi-septembre, au fil de la maturation de chaque parcelle. La qualité sanitaire des raisins est exceptionnelle, rendant l’utilisation des tables de tri anecdotique. L’enthousiasme est général au regard de cette belle matière première, à la maturité parfaitement aboutie, et aux volumes récoltés. Seul bémol, certains secteurs touchés par le gel de printemps n’atteignent pas les rendements espérés. Les vinifications se déroulent sans encombre. La sérénité prédomine, avec ce millésime pour lequel la Bourgogne renoue avec ses grands classiques qualitatifs et quantitatifs.
Les vins rouges ont des couleurs intenses et éclatantes, rouge rubis ou grenat. Dès le premier regard, ces vins donnent envie de les goûter ! Les notes de petits fruits frais rouges ou noirs de ces vins, très expressifs, invitent également à la gourmandise. La justesse des équilibres en bouche, associée à des tanins soyeux, crée un ensemble très harmonieux, subtil et sans opulence.
Quelle satisfaction !
Ce millésime provoque un enthousiasme rare, du nord au sud de la Bourgogne. La météo hors norme de l’année et exceptionnelle lors des vendanges a favorisé un état sanitaire parfait, qui explique des vendanges étalées sur près d’un mois. Les vins dégustés à la veille de la Vente des vins des Hospices de Beaune témoignent déjà de la très grande année que sera 2018. Après avoir fait ses réserves pendant l’hiver, grâce à une météo particulièrement pluvieuse, le cycle végétatif prend d’abord un peu de retard. Lorsque le soleil pointe le bout de son nez en avril, la vigne saute sur l’occasion et le débourrement se produit très rapidement. La météo clémente permet alors à la vigne de rattraper son retard et, même, de prendre de l’avance. Les gelées d’avril font trembler toute la région, mais les dégâts restent très limités. La floraison et la nouaison se déroulent sans encombre. L’été est synonyme de chaleur et de sécheresse constantes. Quelques orages de grêle début juillet sont sans grande conséquence. La vigne continue de se développer à un rythme soutenu jusque à la mi-août. Les véraisons prennent cependant un peu plus de temps par endroit, la chaleur et le manque d’eau affectent certaines vignes plus jeunes. Toutefois, les réserves hydriques s’étant reconstituées pendant l’hiver, la plupart des vignes terminent leur maturation en beauté, dans une ambiance plutôt sereine, grâce à une météo au beau fixe ! Dans la dernière décade d’août, les premiers raisins sont récoltés. Les dates de floraison, puis la pluviométrie et la température ayant beaucoup varié d’un secteur à l’autre, la récolte s’étend jusqu’à la dernière décade de septembre. La vendange est extraordinairement saine et la météo parfaite : chacun prend le temps et vendange au meilleur moment. L’atmosphère est sereine dans le vignoble. Les vignerons n’en finissent pas de sourire de cette magnifique vendange, aussi belle en qualité qu’en quantité. Beaucoup disent qu’ils ne reverront pas un tel phénomène de sitôt !
Les vins rouges 2018 se démarquent par leur couleur intense, qui ne finit pas de séduire !
Les vins sont déjà très structurés et puissants, avec des tanins enrobés. Ils gardent une belle concentration en fruit. L’équilibre des vins est parfait. Ils sont exceptionnels à plus d’un titre et se dégustent déjà très bien dans leur jeunesse. C’est un millésime tout en gourmandise avec des maturités accomplies.
The magic of years ending with a “9”
2019 was a unique and very changeable year. It brought its own stresses for a great many producers, while harvesting passed without a hitch. The end result has inspired enthusiasm amongst winemakers, surpassing expectations. The weather was hot and dry, but the wines are promising a freshness that will delight fans of Bourgogne wines, with an indulgent side to boot. Since the start of the 20th century, every vintage that has ended with a “9” has been wonderful. The only downside to this one is below-average volumes.
A spring-like start to the year
Winter was mild with temperatures higher than average in December, and again in February, when it was 2.2°C warmer than the norm. Rain was variable with a very wet December and much less precipitation in February. As such, the growth cycle started much earlier, with budburst slightly ahead of average in some areas.
An autumnal spring
Clement temperatures in March, up 1.1°C on seasonal norms across the region, allowed the vines to spring back to life. More advanced plots reached the mid-budburst stage in the first days of April. But cold weather then arrived and frost on the morning of 5 April in particular left its mark that was more or less pronounced from sector to sector, depending on how low the temperature fell and which stage the vines had reached. This had an impact on yields. Temperatures remained low and the frost returned on 12 and 15 April, but the damage was much less significant. The vines didn’t return to growth until mid-April, when temperatures rose once again and the mid-budburst stage was reached in later plots.
In May, the vines enjoyed good growth as a wave of heat settled in the region and remained until early June when high winds and plunging temperatures were felt countrywide. This partially hindered flowering, which fell behind with fairly frequent episodes of shatter and millerandage.
A hot summer
Heat and a lack of rain were then the norm, with temperatures up 2.2°C on average across the region. In the majority of cases, the vines were in excellent health right through to harvest. Any occasional local issues with powdery mildew were quickly dealt with. The little rain that fell in August helped the vines develop and triggered véraison. It varied a great deal across the region, resulting in significant differences in terms of the development of the vines from one plot to another, and sometimes even within the same plot. This continued through to the harvest. Overall, the vines stood up to this lack of rainfall pretty well, and showed good vigor through to picking. However, some places did suffer towards the end of the season, especially where the plants were younger, with the grapes suffering some scorching. The fine weather continued through the end of August and into September, and ripening happened at a good pace. Concentration was an issue in a few spots in September, but millerandage ensured the grapes retained their acidity through to the end. Harvesting for the grapes used to make Crémant de Bourgogne began on 30 August, while that for grapes for still wines began a week later, and picking continued through to mid-October. This unusually long harvest was possible thanks to the excellent health of the grapes along with good weather. Given the differences in ripening from plot to plot, winegrowers were able to adapt to the pace the grapes matured. Location was not an issue - analysis of the maturity of the grapes and regular sampling of the berries were all that counted.
Fermentation passed without a hitch, although the pace varied radically, depending on the plot. It takes longer when there is a lot of millerandage. With a light ruby color, the wines are looking truly elegant, with smooth tannins and lovely vigor. Distinctly fruity flavors bring a certain indulgence. The 2019 vintage is coming into being and promising a wonderful harmony.