The climatic conditions
The winter of 2013 did not wish to give way. The spring weather was not very favourable with the rain, wind and low temperatures causing a late resumption of the plant cycle. Bud break was noticed on 23rd April in Vosne, having reached stage B. The bud began to swell and the scales began to separate. We were then two weeks behind in comparison to an average year.
Spring arrived with temperatures of around 22ºC. On 26th April, stage C the “green tip " was observed. The eye had lengthened and the young shoot had appeared.
After a short showing of spring, lower-than-normal temperatures returned which did not favour the development of any vegetation. By 1st May, the first leaves came out meaning we were now in stage D.
The succession of spring downpours much disturbed the work of the vine and the soil. The seasonal work was difficult as tractors could not be used on the water-gorged soil, the ploughed land was inaccessible and all of the work had to be done manually.
The vegetation continued to slowly develop. On 7th May, stage E was obvious as the first leaves had unfolded, and on 11th May, the bunches were visible, meaning stage F had been reached. The May rain total in Vosne was 148.1 mm. The temperatures remained stable with a high of 14ºC.
The flowering stage began on 18th June with full flowering on the 28th. Checking the flowers is essential to vine growing. It helps determine the physiological maturity and an estimated harvest date based on 100 days following flowering: the harvest would be just at the beginning of October. These difficult climatic conditions would produce coloure and millerandage with a very good quality expected given the small grapes that would contribute to maturity and concentration.
There was a violent hail storm affecting nearly 1300 ha in Côte de Beaune on 23rd July. Our plots in Savigny Les Beaune, Pernand Vergelesses and Beaune 1st Cru could not be saved.
The Burgundy miracle: August and September offered a hot, dry and sunny summer that would be particularly good for the grape quality. The ripening stage was observed in Vosne on 9th August. The gentle weather and high humidity in mid-September fostered the development of Botrytis but, unfortunately, it was very limited since the bunches were well ventilated and showed little berries.
The harvest date decision was, thus, rather delicate.
The crop load was weak and maturity was reached at the end of September; the grapes had made good use of the sunny days and mild summer temperatures for increased concentration.
With all of the experience and paternal wisdom of a man connected to his land, Vincent decided to begin harvesting on 1st October in remarkable sanitary conditions with a wonderful alcohol potential and excellent acidity.
Meticulous sorting and careful stripping was done in the fermentation cellar with the help of several “small hands” to steep in the healthy grape pomace. This thorough work would last two weeks.
We began with the Cremant on 23rd September. On 1st October we picked the Beaune and Pernand Vergelesses, the next day Savigny Les Beaune and Bourgogne Rouge. The 3rd was devoted to harvesting in Vosne Romanée and Nuits St Georges, the 4th and 5th to Fixin, Gevrey Chambertin, Chambolle Musigny and Vougeot. On Sunday, 6th, we harvested Clos de Vougeot and Marsannay "Clos du Roy" and then Echezeaux and Grands-Echezeaux on Monday, 7th. On Tuesday, 8th, the grapes in Nuits St Georges 1st Cru "Les Boudots", Richebourg and Vosne Romanée 1st Cru "Les Petits Monts" were added to the winery.
On 9th October, we harvested Vosne Romanée 1st Cru "Les Orveaux" and "Les Suchots" and then Passetoutgrain, the next day. We continued on the 11th in Hautes-Côtes de Nuits "La Croix" and "Le Prieuré" and then Coteaux Bourguignons aux "Glapinys" on the 12th.
On Sunday, the team joined the "Dames Huguettes" in the Hautes-Côtes. Monday, 14th was devoted to Bourgognes Aligoté and Chardonnay.
This delicious aromatic and pure vintage year offers wonderful length in the mouth. The colours are strong and bright with a deep ruby red. In the mouth, the fresh fruit, wild strawberry, raspberry and currant aromas explode like greediness. Then, the first acid notes give way to beautiful structure and fine tannins.
For thousands of years in Burgundy, the Pinot Noir and man have been able to adapt to very contrasting geological and climatic constraints. This demanding yet passionate year for vine growers was marked by a splendid diversity of expression during which know-how, time and rigour were necessary during all stages of the vineyard and cellar work.