The climatic conditions
As the saying goes, years come and go and none is alike the other!
If first 2018 trimester rimed with rain: 375 mm in Vosne, 2019 one rimed with dryness: 144 mm only. Depending on the area, hydrous deficit is more or less important. Sunlight is very generous those first 3 months, even exceptional for February recording a 40% raise. Highest winter temperatures are observed from 25th to 28th of February with 20°C. Météo-France remember very well this episode as it is one of the sunniest February recorded since official weather measure started in 1950. This extreme softness announces an early awakening year.
From March, sunny spring days alternate with colder days. Hydric heterogeneity of each parcel drives uneven growing from a village to another, from a parcel to another, from a rootstock to another. Early April is cold, frost is upon us… The night of the 5th is long…-3°C at 1:00 AM because of sudden colder air mass and wind. A silly cocktail turning this spring frost into an advective frost.
At this stage, it is too hard to measure the damage but they will be visible later on. On 7th of April, bud bursting is reached and we observe first leaves on the 12th. Vegetation grows on slow motion. Another frost is announced for the 14th of April. The whole profession is mobilized to support this critic situation. Paraffin candles are used to reheat the air upon the soils, straw fires are creating a smoke screen to prevent first sunbeam that burn young shoot. More fear than casualty this time, we have been spared by Mother Nature.
2019 is now one of the latest vintages. Despite the mild climate of the end of April, evolution of the vegetation remains slow. Colder temperature during May and dryness slow down even more the development, a little leave every 5 days, the foliage is pale. June is finally coming with high temperature, 32 °C in the vineyard the 5th. Leaves become greener, grow faster and flowering start on the 12th of June but mornings remains cold with 8°C the 13th. Shot berries phenomena is observed. Little rains are welcome mid-June and flowering comes to an end. From 18th of June until 9th of July, the heatwave settles down with 43°C in the vineyard the 27th of June. Shifting conditions in June led to a high heterogeneity in the development: fruit set and end of flowering are seen side by side on the same rootstock… Impossible at this stage to count 100 days to evaluate the date of harvest! A second heatwave settled from 12th to 26th of July, drying even more the soils, vines are suffering and fruits are burning. Storms of the 27th and 28th gives 21.9 mm of rain, fully welcomed in Vosne Romanée.
August is sunny and rainy; Ripening takes place from 12th to 22nd of August. Grapes gain a lot of sugar; photosynthesis is very efficient and the winds concentrate the acidity. September is hot, very hot, 33°C on the 4th…
Maturity controls confirm our observations: perfect state of health, excellent phenolic maturity, good acidity, a great vintage is announced!
We start harvesting on Friday 13th of September afternoon with a small team in Beaune followed the 14th in Savigny Village and 1er Cru “les Narbantons”. Sunday comes with Pernand and Bourgogne “Sapidus”. The 16th and 17th are busy with Fixin and its “Vieille Vigne”, Bourgogne Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, finishing with Marsannay “Clos du Roy”. The 18th, our small “veteran team” harvest Richebourg and Vosne Romanée 1er Cru “Les Petits Monts” while the large team harvest Aligoté. Thursday 19th, Vosne Village, “Maizières Hautes”, Echezeaux, “La Grande Complication” and Grands Echezeaux arrives in the winery followed closely the 20th by Clos de Vougeot, the two Vougeot 1er Cru, Chambolle and Nuits Saint Georges “Les Plateaux”.
On Saturday 21st, we harvest Gevrey, Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru “Aux Boudots”, 1er Cru from Vosne “En Orveaux” and “Les Suchots”. Next came the turn of Hautes Côtes de Nuits “Les Dames Huguettes” on 22nd and 23rd. 24th morning is the final day with “La Croix” in Arcenant and our little parcel of Malbec. Frost, dryness, shot berries, millerandage, burned shoots declined significantly the harvest amount but…what a quality! The magic of another magnificent “9” vintage…
Great skin maturity optimised colour extraction and tannins for the reds. Fruits aromas are beautiful and the acidity conserved despite high level of sugar offers wines with an incredible freshness.
Whites are sweet and fruity, almost as syrup, and their exact acidity give them a perfect balance.