VINTAGE 2017 / I love this vintage!
Winter is once again not dry and cold enough and this is slowly becoming the norm; temperatures need to be below freezing for days or weeks to purify the land and destroy parasites.
It has been over 10 years now that the land in Burgundy has not fully frozen.
So after a humid and mild January and February, March brings with it warmer temperatures and a light wind from the East – perfect for working on the land and planting new vines.
April was hot, allowing buds to break a month earlier than usual. April 20th saw some ice but much less than last year. This ice mostly affected areas prone to freezing, that is, the Burgundy Appellation.
May was very hot and dry.
June was scorching with temperatures as high as 38°C. Never before have I seen vines grow so quickly – 1.30 m in the space of 5 weeks, with flowering starting 4 days later.
Fortunately, July is a little less hot and brings with it some long-awaited rainfall.
August was very pleasant with good sunlight. Harvest began on August 27th for the Chardonnays and September 6th for the Pinot Noirs. Weather conditions for the harvest proved excellent.
White wines: the 2017 vintage is similarly energetic and acidic as the 2014 vintage. The wine is smooth and rich with a remarkable saline finish. Pink grapefruit and Menton lemon aromas dominate this fine vintage, with prominent overtones of white blossom, spice and mandarins, and not forgetting the perfect minerality that defines and characterises the great white wines of Burgundy.
Red wines: 2017 really encapsulates the red and black berry red wine aromas. Some crus have overtones of pepper and liquorice, with very ripe and prominent yet delicate tannins. Dark and deep hues.
The 2017 red wines are very sexy.
I end this presentation the same way that I started it:
I love this vintage!
VINTAGE 2016 / Once again 2016 began like earlier years: a nonexistent winter, no negative temperatures during the winter season.
Let's go back to October 2015. 'Why? In mid October there was a change in the weather which, unfortunately, had very important consequences. The vine leaves fell off very quickly due to negative temperatures, reminding us of an old Burgundian adage: "When vine leaves fall due to frost, they will grow again in frosty conditions".
After a mild and wet January and February, the month of March was very warm and dry. Vegetation began a month earlier than normal. Similar weather conditions continued into early April with temperatures rising as high as 28°C. Unhappily, the second half of April saw some rain and, on the morning of 27th April, negative temperatures of -4°C killed the young shoots. This episode of frost was extraordinary as 'lieux-dits' and 'climats' not subject to frost were completely destroyed. All of which takes us back to the adage: leaves that fall in frost, grow back in frost.
Exactly the same weather occurred in 2017 but I'll talk about that next year. The month of May, wet in the first week, finished very hot, allowing the vines to recover from the destructive frost. JJune was also very hot. Flowering was very rapid. July and August saw superb weather conditions: sunshine, small amounts of rain, wind - real Burgundy weather.
Grape picking began on 20th September. The weather was glorious for the wine harvest.
2016 is a classic vintage compared to 2015 which was a solar vintage.
Characteristics of 2016 whites: highly energetic, pure wines which can be compared with those of 2014 with a little more fatness on the finish. Very fine minerality, pleasant saltiness.
As for the Pinots, the 2016 vintage is precise and pure with ripe, silky tannins. Deep, ruby red colour with hints of black.
To sum up, I much prefer 2016 to 2015.
I am worried about global warming, fearing that it could result in more and more solar vintages.