2022 is a sunny and warm vintage with a immediate generous character.
Highly long-awaited after a 2021 vintage with historically low volumes, the 2022 vintage brought serenity back to the vineyard with a heathy harvest and correct volumes. However, nothing was won. With rainfall accumulations far from excessive, the year 2022 was marked by average temperatures higher than seasonal norms and rainfall deficits from the start of the vine’s vegetative cycle. At the beginning of April, episodes of frost will recall the terrible nights of April 6 and 7 of 2021, but fortunately with an impact beyond measure. The year 2022 is the year of all records for sunshine with the equivalent of an additional month of July. We are therefore talking about a sunny vintage when we talk about 2022.
Chronology of events:
WINTER 2021-2022: Winter takes place in dry conditions creating a lack of water in the soil from the beginning of spring. With an average temperature around 6°C, the first three months of 2022 were not particularly cold.
MARCH: End of March, the increase in air and soil temperatures leads to a raising of the eco-dormancy of the vine which sees its first buds swell.
APRIL-MAY: Little change at the beginning of April, marked by cold days and traversed by a few sudden episodes of frost between April 3 and 11 with temperatures of -3 to -4°C for a week. In mid-April, spring sets in, and the dynamic of the vine growth intensified brutally with an exceptionally very sustained pace. The 3-leaves stage is visible from April 20. Mid-May, the first flowers come out with the equivalent of 2 weeks in advance. They are numerous and flowering takes place in dry and hot weather conditions. At this stage, the speed of the vegetative cycle suggests a very early vintage.
JUNE: The formed berries are start to gain in volume and the saving rains at the end of the month allow the soil to be replenished with water, which until then has been very dry, certainly rescue the 2022 harvest.
JULY: Last decade of July, the berries begin to soften and change color, veraison begins. The weather remained hot and dry, limiting disease in this vintage, and allowing the grapes to ripen correctly. With almost 360 hours of sunshine this month, a record has been reached.
AUGUST: When we returned from holidays, we were surprised and happy to see that the vines did not suffer as much from the lack of water as the drought of the vintage suggested. Yellowing or defoliation, was present but only in certain areas. The vine suffered from heat stress more than water stress in 2022. From August 10, the drop in malic and tartaric acid levels was observed, favoring an increase in pH. Particular attention was therefore paid to these possible gaps in our plots. At the flowering, we anticipated a vintage that was historically early, but the high summer heat caused ripening to be blocked and belied the predictions by postponing the harvest date by almost 10 days. The harvest started on August 24 and lasted 13 days under the summer sun and high temperatures
The highlights of the season:
A very marked water deficit throughout the season
Frost episodes in early April
An exceptionally hot and sunny spring and summer
A frantic pace in the development of the vine
An almost irreproachable sanitary state of the grapes
Our opinion on the red wines of Côte de Beaune: A grape variety reputed to be more fragile than its neighbor Chardonnay, Pinot noir better tolerated conditions of high heat and water stress. As long as the winegrowers kept a little more foliage than usual, the grapes were able to evolve slowly but surely towards a very interesting phenolic maturity. Thanks to the fine rains of June and August, it received the water it needed to build itself. Juice yields were, as in 2018, a little more favorable than initially assumed. Nothing to do with an abundant harvest but the yields are better in Pinot noir than in Chardonnay!
The wines have a nice color, easily extracted during vinification and well stabilized thereafter. Contrary to what we might expect from a warm vintage, the wines are not too rich in alcohol (12,5% vol. to 13% vol. natural) with beautiful ripe tannins and sufficient final acidity to preserve fruity, crunchy and silky characters. At this stage, they are approaching the spirit of both the 2018 and the 2020. The malolactic fermentations tended to go quickly, which was not the case for us with red wine departures just at the beginning of February.
Our opinion on the white wines of Côte Chalonnaise: This is a region where the rains of June and August were not identical to those received elsewhere. The water deficit in Montagny, for example, is real. The immediate consequence is a lower yield (rather 48-50 hL/ha than 60). There is a lot of substance in the wines (sugar and acidity at a very good level), with a nice generosity on the palate. The wines are however very dry, in the spirit of their appellation. The malolactic fermentations are slowly coming to an end. The balances seem interesting to us.
Our opinion on the white wines of Côte de Beaune: In general, the vines of Chardonnay appreciate the strong dry heat much less and this is still true with this vintage. The rains were a little more sustained in the north of the Côte than in the south. Throughout the sector, the levels of natural sugars were good (12,5% vol. to 13,5% vol.). There is therefore no excess at this level. Despite the high temperatures, the total acidity is very correct. The malic acidity is not very important quantitatively, the malolactic fermentations are here also ending almost everywhere in the cellars that we had voluntarily cooled in December to gain a little time for agein
2022 is a sunny and warm vintage with a immediate generous character. Without going against nature, we will have to give him some time in the coming weeks to calm certain personality traits.
The volume harvested here are satisfactory but still lower than those estimated in summer.
A bit like in 2015 and 2019, the heat caused sweating and concentration. The comparison with other vintages is premature, but the two vintages mentioned above have characteristics in common with 2022.
THE 2018 HARVEST
The fall of 2017 was dry until the end of October, allowing the winegrowers to work the land and enable the abundant rain in November and December to penetrate deep into the soil. January 2018was also very wet, with 350mm of rain and the mildest temperatures since 1945. February, however, was dry and fairly cold; some 2-3° below seasonal norms.
Rain returned in force in March with 110mm falling across the month, compared to an average of 50mm. This allowed reserves to be built up, which were greatly appreciated later in the season. Right from the start of April, the weather turned unusually mild. This led to rapid budburst across the region in the middle of the month. The shoots grew so fast that it took just a week for the vines to show three full leaves, and no longer be under threat from frost.
May was also striking, with almost constant sunshine and very warm temperatures. Fungal diseases such as downy and powdery mildew cropped up in places, but in general were very well contained. We nonetheless had to remain vigilant and spray regularly with sulfur. FLOWERING occurred between 22- 30 May, indicating a very early harvest.
June saw the hot and sunny weather continue, with extremely favorable conditions. A few rainstorms struck at the right time to stop the vines suffering any hydric stress, which began to threaten towards the end of the month in some sectors. BUNCH CLOSURE occurred on the Côte de Beaune around 30 June.
Then in early July, the first signs of VERAISON were seen on those vines that had not suffered from lack of water. Sunshine was at a maximum and growth slowed in places, particularly in terms of the younger vines or those on shallower soil. Inversely, the older vines and those on deeper soil really benefitted from the water reserves established earlier on in the year. A few rain showers of 15-20mm in mid- August helped the grapes advance in terms of ripening. As 20 August approached, some of the whites in those areas that ripen early had attained the levels we wanted for harvest, unlike the Pinot Noir grapes which appreciate the heat and need more time. The days were hot and sunny.
As in 2015, we opted to start harvesting at an easy pace on 27 August, taking advantage of the exceptional weather and adapting our picking to avoid the heat. Picking ended with the most late- ripening vines on 15 September.