2011

Because of the early growth caused by summer-like conditions, debudding started with the Clos des Mouches, chardonnay vines on 15 April and tying-up on 2 May,3 weeks earlier than 2010.

Similar to 2007, flowering appeared around 20 May on  the Côte in the space of several days due to a period of high temperatures (27/28°C); at this time we were forecasting harvesting around 20 August as grapes tend to mature faster when they start early in the season.

Exceptional weather conditions mean also potential for  parasites: spraying for oïdium started on 21 April for chardonnay vines and much later for mildew, for which spraying started a few days after flowering because the basic conditions required for mildew to develop also appeared later.

In spite of several storms in June, there was still insufficient rain and after several, very hot days with temperatures around 35/37°C, some vines showed signs of being effected, particularly the pinot noir, on grape clusters facing southwards and insufficiently shaded by leaves. At this stage, combined with the lack of rain (premature stoppage in plant growth),we feared these conditions could seriously result in a low yield at harvest time.

 

Cool and wet in July 

 

It was a relief when it started to rain in July and first grape clusters began to appear even though early; however, temperatures were very low.

Unfortunately, heavy rain and low temperatures lasted throughout July and although the grape clusters reached normal size, these conditions resulted in some signs of Botrytis on the more compact, pinot noir clusters.

Rain levels in July and August reached in some areas, between 200 and 270mm, twice the seasonal norm; mildew which up to this time was not noticeable, suddenly appeared making it necessary to treat the foliage in order to maintain the right conditions for the grapes to mature.

Nevertheless, the exceptional conditions in Spring enabled us to cut down considerably the number of times we had to spray on the domain.

 

 

Good weather for harvesting  

 

Again, it was not easy to fix the harvesting date as we wanted to be certain to pick when the grapes were at their highest degree of maturity and in their best sanitary condition; contrary to previous years, the sugar content had quickly peaked, sign that the vine had finished its growth cycle.

Taking all into account, the harvesting date was finally fixed for 28 August, firstly for the red, Beaune plots, the most in advance, and finishing with the white grapes and the Hautes Côtes de Beaune.

The excellent weather conditions for the whole time helped us enormously to pick good   grapes.

 

 

 

Red wines

 

We sorted twice during harvesting: firstly, in the field, during picking by our faithful team of pickers who know what we want and secondly on the sorting table before vatting; any bunches not within our maturity or quality standards were all discarded.

The alcoholic fermentation was preceeded by maceration for one week and the vatting time prolonged for a few days in order to refine and enhance the tannins.

In cask, the wines are deep red in colour with pleasant, ripe red fruit tones; they are well balanced in taste and finely structured by the delicate tannins.

 

 

White Wines 

 

 

The effects of the heat during the early development of the grapes left the clusters less compact and thus in a better situation to resist grey mould so that on harvesting, no sorting was necessary, the sanitary  condition being almost perfect.

Grapes were quickly and easily clarified before filling into casks and the alcoholic fermentation process posed no particular problem.

The wines are shiny in colour, with a fresh and mature fruit aroma, lively and persistent in the mouth.

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BERTHELEMOT : Great wines from Burgundy - 21190 MEURSAULT
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