I was with Laurent Pillot in Chassagne on the 16th of September, a couple of days before he started to harvest this year, and he was concerned about signs of rot following a nasty hailstorm which had hit Santenay a few days earlier. Olivier Lamy, in next door village of Saint Aubin had already started picking, saying he had 13% potential alcohol in the grapes and it was not worth waiting any more. Laurent was rather more relaxed as we looked at various bunches in a neighbour’s Chardonnay vines which had the odd pink-tinged and shrivelled grape.
I have just had Laurent’s vintage report and he says “The vendanges went well. The quality of the grapes was much better than I anticipated. Apart from a few localised patches of rot, it was all pretty clean and healthy. It has to be said that the yields were low, and that the vines were able to deal with the less than perfect weather thanks to the limited number of grapes. In red premiers crus I harvested 35-40 hectolitres per hectare and the grapes were ripe, full of sugars. It whites as well the yields were lower, especially in the old vines: 30% down in the Grandes Ruchottes. So we have wines which are performing well towards the end of their fermentations, with a point of acidity which will perhaps be the mark of the vintage.
Everyone is of the opinion that this year there will be even more qualitative difference between the different domaines than usual.”
see Laurent’s video including a rather out of place ‘Haka’ performance from one of the team: