2017

 

Following the not particularly early 2016 grape harvest on 23 September, the vine leaves fell late which was beneficial for the vine but retarded the winter field work , mainly pruning.
October and November were very wet followed by very cold winter weather (7 consecutive days of frost in December and 20 days in January) with insufficient moisture (80 mm from December to February in Beaune against 170 mm); however temperatures in February and especially in March were well above average.
The needs of cold weather for the vine were therefore satisfied quite early and combined with the high temperatures the vegetation growth started quickly as from end March, similar to the years 2011 and 2014.
Growth increased furtherduring the first 10 days of April in almost summer-like conditions such that within a few days the vine had developed from green tips to a 4/5 leaf spread with, for example, first signs of buds for the Beaune Clos des Mouches.
After the beneficial effects of the winter frost on the soil, spring field work was carried out in good conditions. 
Growth was slowed down after a cold spell in April; there were frost warnings several times (particularly for nights 28 and 29 April) at the same time as in 2016 still cast in our memories, but luckily to no serious effect.
By the end of the first half of May, growth was back to the same stage as in 2016.
Growth burst into life following an exceptionally hot period, the vine starting to bloom in the first week of June, 15 days earlier than the preceeding year: the plots of chardonnay flowered first causing some shatter because of the extent of the heat - the pinot noir faired better and in all, the consolation was a high yield potential for most plots after so many poor years.
It was hard work to trellis the vines with the high temperatures and abundant vegetation progressing fast with grape clusters forming as early as 20 June, similar to the years 2009 and 2015.
In spite of the hot and dry conditions there were little signs of cryptogamic diseases, rather like in 2011 but after storms in the middle of May – particularly south of the Côte de Beaune area – some serious symptoms of mildew were first observed at the end of the month; although the dry weather persisted, from this moment on, mildew became a major preoccupation in the area.
July was cooler and wet retarding the first signs of veraison until the first days of the month and the succession of damp periods increased the risks of mildew on young leaves which had to be constantly removed.
The maturation process of the vine was slowed down by the dry and cool weather early August; the situation changed, sometimes fast but irregularly, in the second part of the month with alternating cool and very hot spells.
The conditions made it difficult to forecast a date for the harvest: the sanitary condition of the vine however, was almost perfect, a stormy and rainy period was beneficial for both the vine itself and the grape pulp.
With the sugar content increasing fast, a lower acid level and a very good gustatory quality of the grape it was decided not to delay picking so as to avoid too much concentration within the grape in view of the persisting high temperature: the grape harvest was fixed for the 4 September in the plots of pinot noir, followed by the chardonnay plots.
*Red wines:
Little sortation was necessary because of the quality of the grapes harvested allowing for part of the quantity, depending on appellation, to be vatted complete; after the cold, prefermentation maceration process, during which some very fine aromas of red fruit were detected, the alcoholic fermentation pointed to an extremely good potential.
On first tasting after fermentation, it was clear that there was no need to prolong the maceration process; after pressing, the wines had a deep shiny shade and very fine red fruit aromas slightly jammy; in the mouth, the wine is dense, rich and elegant worthy of a reputable vintage.
*White wines:
The white grapes were picked last, apart from the Beaune Clos des Mouches plot, harvested at the same time as the red appellations .
Gold in colour the grapes were in perfect condition and slowly pressed complete; after settling the cooled must was filled in casks.
For all the batches, the alcoholic fermentation went smoothly without any final slowing down.
The wines have a strong aroma and in the mouth, well balanced, full and rich in taste.

 

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BERTHELEMOT : Great wines from Burgundy - 21190 MEURSAULT
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