As many of you know, in late April much of Burgundy (including Chablis) experienced the worst frost since 1981. Many vineyards were completely wiped out and suffered some effect, particularly in the Côte de Beaune. Coupled with a very wet spring and significant mildew pressure through flowering and we thought we were in for another very challenging vintage, particularly from a yield standpoint.
But beginning in July the temperatures warmed, but more importantly the humidity dropped and period after véraison was practically perfect. We received a nice, gentle rain in early September which helped swell the berries and we ended up with a much larger crop for the reds than originally anticipated. We lost ‘only’ about 20% of the Pinot noir production, due mostly to the fact that most of our Premier Cru vineyards are on the slope and only the lower portion ended up getting frost-bitten. Yields for the whites were not as fortuitous as we lost 50%, as these vineyards also suffered from botrytis later in the season.
The early indications of quality are quite promising! Early comparisons suggest another year like 2010, which would be great news indeed. The wines are vibrant, fresh, and full of energy. They are ripe but have better acidities than 2015. The picking conditions were perfect so we had complete freedom to harvest on the days that were correct for each appellation.