2015

At last !

Following several vintages hit by serious weather conditions, successive hailstorms in particular  ( even though the quality of the wine was good but the yield low), the year 2015 was a return to “normal” with great expectations.

The 2014/2015 winter started late in February and was mainly mild and dull but early March fair conditions with sun returned, setting a good pace for the season.

Green tips began to appear on the Chardonnay vines early April and the growth was remarkable with the hot spell in the second half of the month.

We started debudding on 23 April in the Puligny Levrons plot and did not stop spring time fieldwork until end- June,  completing this task in 2 months instead of the usual 3 months.

We were relieved to observe that the vegetation growth  on those vines severely  damaged by hail in 2012, 2013 and 2014  was satisfactory; it was noted however, that for the Pinot Noir vines, there was less inflorescence, both smaller and irregular.

Fortunately, the exceptionally dry and sunny conditions are not conducive to the development of cryptogamic infections but we had to be very cautious  regarding a severe pressure of oidium.

 Considering the debudding time, growth seemed to correspond  to the rate of an average year; the flowering stage, however, was 6 days earlier than the average over the last 20 years, being equivalent to 2009 or 2014 and in the space of a weekend,  Pinot Noir vines flowering on Friday had berries setting on the Monday morning!

Development of the berries was greatly accelerated by the unusually hot spell in June: clusters formed around 20 June prompted by approx. 80mm of timely rainfall preventing overheating, which we were afraid of, particularly on those vines where the leaves had been thinned.

By the end of June, the season  was ahead to the same point as the 3 most advanced years 2011, 2007 and 2003.

The veraison stage was slowed down by the prolonged, very hot and dry weather into July; in spite of the vine’s resistance, some signs of the effects of drought appeared in those plots where the soil is sparse and at this stage it was not possible to forecast a harvest date because the state of veraison varied too much from one plot of vine to another.

We were saved by rain, just in time early August, which quickly proved beneficial and enabled  the grapes to mature uniformly .

The first checks on maturity in the domain showed that the plots of Pinot Noir were in advance by comparison to those with Chardonnay; the sanitary condition was perfect with clusters small in size and not too compact; some light rain, was sufficient for the vine and swelling of the grapes without any risks of adverse effects.

With the sugar content progressing fast and the acid level diminishing together with a very good development in taste of the grapes, the decision was taken to harvest so as to avoid a too high concentration in sugar in view of the prevailing heatwave: picking started on 1 September for the Pinot Noir and finishing with the Chardonnay plots.

Red Wines:

The harvest could be considered as perfect and the vibrating sorter was all that was needed for the grapes from most plots and for some appellations we retained 15 to 30% of full clusters.

Already during the prefermentation maceration some fine aromas of red fruit were observed; the alcoholic fermentation proceeded smoothly and the anthocyanins well dispersed.

Similar to the 2005 vintage , we decided to use a gentle extraction technique consisting mainly in pumping over; on tasting at the end of the fermentation process, the harmonious  gustatory quality made it unnecessary to prolong   maceration much further.

After pressing the wines are dark and shiny in colour with very fine aromas of red fruit, slightly candied;  the taste is intense and of an exceptional finesse.

White wines:

Picking started on 4 September: the grapes of superb quality and gold in colour were slowly pressed in full clusters and filled in casks after a fast racking process and cooling.

For each batch the alcoholic fermentation proceeded smoothly and, quite unusually, without slowing down in the final stage.

These new wines are pure and elegant, well balanced and pleasantly rich on the palate .

 

For both the red and the white wines, the low rate of malic acid is a sign of the high potential of the vintage.

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BERTHELEMOT : Great wines from Burgundy - 21190 MEURSAULT
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