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2004 VINTAGE in Burgundy
2004 will be remembered as the year of wonderful surprises. The month of September was hot, dry and sunny contributing to an excellent harvest which in turn gave birth to fruity, elegant wines.
The harvest started on the 13th September in Burgundy, the Mâconnais and the Côte Chalonnaise during a long awaited spell of mild weather following a summer characterised by climatic instability.
These conditions slowed down the colouring of the grapes, disturbed the start of ripening and provided ideal conditions for the development of oidium. Luckily the return of a long period of warmth and sun from the beginning of September onwards accelerated the ripening process with a sharp increase in sugars.
This summery weather accompanied by a warm drying wind also allowed for the vines to maintain a satisfactory sanitary state. The hailstorms unfortunately destroyed a number of important parcels in the Mâconnais and in the vineyards of the Côte d?Or at different stages of their vegetative cycle. Contrary to 2003, nature showed herself to be kind and the wine-growers had to go ahead with intensive green harvesting to control the yields, taking off the damaged grapes or leaf-thinning.
In mid-september estimations put the forthcoming harvest at about 10% above that of an average harvest.
Although the particularly successful 2002 and 2003 vintages are tasting beautifully at the moment, it is still to early to define the profile for the 2004 vintage.
We will have to wait until after various tastings in November in Beaune, Chablis and in the Auxerrois region before getting a preliminary idea of the qualities of the 2004 harvest.