The roller coast ride that was the 2015 growing season is over, and the wines are happily beginning to ferment in our caves. For a moment, the summer heat stirred concerns that Burgundy would have another 2003 on its hands, with the vines shutting down and struggling to ripen, but the heat faded quickly, and the phenolic ripeness of the grapes kept pace with the sugars ripening. Oidium was a minor problem in our pair of red Corton Grand Crus, but otherwise the grapes were beautiful!
We began harvest on September 3rd, and had all the grapes into the cuverie by September 9th – the earliest harvest since 2003. The yields of the Domaine remained low for yet another year, averaging 23 HL/HA. The hail from the past two growing seasons had a latent effect as some plants recovered from the damage, and the short July heat wave did reduce some of the juice content of the grapes. The solids to juice ratio was down to about 1.5:1 instead of the typical 2:1.
The warm season produced the highest potential alcohol since 2009 – often a hallmark of a great year! Total acidity was at a good level even though the malic acid was low, resulting in reds of great richness and roundness. This has all the potential to be a top year, producing red wines that will show well young, but have the requisite stuffing to cellar for 10 years or more.
The whites are currently difficult to assess. Like 2009, the Chardonnays will most likely be largely-scaled for Burgundy. More on these in upcoming newsletters!