Each vintage has its own share of surprises. The weather over last few years has been more capricious than ever, and, as long as the laws of nature remain unfathomable, our vinegrower-winemakers will have to continue adapting their practices to get the very best grapes. Overview of the latest vintages in Burgundy:
2009: when quantity rhymes with quality
Winter 2008-2009 was very cold and dry. Spring came slowly with a yo-yoing thermometer. Summer started with radiant sunshine and summer temperatures lasted up to September. The vintage is characterised by exceptional sunshine, particularly in January, May and August.
The grape harvest started in the second week in September. The yield was high; the grapes were rich and concentrated. The white wines are lip-smacking, with great alcohol/acidity balance; for the reds, the tannins are concentrated with lots of flesh. This magnificent vintage shows that quantity can rhyme with quality!
2010: an exacting vintage
2010 was a vintage full of story twists and surprises! The weather conditions were particularly tricky: a very cold winter with heavy frosts, spring that took a long time coming, swings from hot to wet and back during flowering and thunder storms at the end of summer…
The grape harvest started in the third week of September. Yields were lower because of a combination of yield control through pruning, failure of the fruit to set and mixed-sized berries in the bunches caused by the weather and sorting carried out in the vines and cellar.
The white wines boast great acidity levels, making this a cellaring vintage with really pure fruit. For the red wines, low yields gave fantastic concentration of fruit and silky tannins. There were no let-ups during 2010, meaning that even stricter attention was required all the way through from the vines to the vatroom…
2011: a vintage of extremes
The 2011 vintage is again the fruit of unusual weather conditions. A vintage of ‘extremes’ where periods that were too hot, too dry or too wet alternated…
Growth in the vines was exceptionally early, the summer was cool with showers and some thunder storms, the end of August was very sunny… The grape harvest started very early, at the end of August.
In Côte de Beaune, the grapes ripened perfectly and the vines were very healthy. This gave good quality wines bursting with aromas and flavours. In Côte Chalonnaise, Montagny and Rully were hit by hail. The whites show the good sugar to acidity ratio that guarantees balance and freshness. The reds are aromatic with good structure. Wines from Côte de Nuits are elegant and silky, well-balanced and structured.
2012: low quantities but great quality
2012 was beset by unusual weather that didn’t spare the vines! A mild winter, spring-like March, cool spring with frosts, summer-like May, cooler, wetter June, a variable summer with heatwaves, hail and storms… Because of the cold damp spring, some of the vine flowers didn’t set and form fruit, there was millerandage (where the flowers aren’t fully fertilised and give small berries) and high pressure from mildew and odium. Temperatures went right up during the short periods, over-heating and scorching the berries. This weather caused a significant fall in yields, without, however, impacting on the quality of the grapes, as well spread out bunches with small berries guarantee concentration and intensity.
All in all, the grapes achieved good ripeness in aromas and good sugar to acidity balance. The white wines are characterised by their finesse and concentration. The reds set themselves apart with their lovely colours, ripe and silky tannins and their harmonious mouthfeel
2013: an unpredictable vintage
After a long winter, this vintage was marked by high rainfall: it was above seasonal average from January to July. Spring was dreary; summer was hot and dry with a few devastating thunder storms in Côte de Beaune.
Cool temperatures and humidity during flowering and setting caused setting to fail and millerandage; this reduced the yield potential throughout Burgundy.
In the image of the vintage, the grapes were harvested in the rain at the beginning of October. Once again, unceasing work in the vines and winery gave this vintage the nobility it could have lacked. The whites are fruity, balanced, lively and fresh, while the reds are fruity with lovely structure and refined, noticeable tannins.
2014: a lovely surprise
Another vintage with surprising weather!
In the spring, the vintage seemed quite precocious. There were, however, some signs of the grapes not setting. A violent thunder storm at the end of June caused heavy damage in a few Côte de Beaune villages. The summer was difficult with damp, cool weather. The sun was back at the beginning of September, accompanied by the north wind that allowed the grapes to reach peak ripeness and guaranteed great health for the vines.
Our 2014 white wines will be well-balanced with a clear-cut, precise personality. The reds are showing great concentration, supple and pleasant tannins and lovely finesse. A vintage brimming with promise…