I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bill Nanson, the author of the famous blog Burgundy-Report.com.
Bill tasted my wines in the 2008 vintage. He was sensitive to my “lutte raisonnée” approach as well as to the work of Claude Bourguignon on the soil. According to his article, our conversation was mostly about the 2007s and the 2008s: “The 2008s did need quite a long elevage – four cuvées finished malos in January, the majority in April/May and another in June. Caroline says that she will wait until the wines are completely ‘ready’ before she begins bottling. The 2007s for instance were bottled in January 2009, Caroline thinks that she will likely wait until March 2010 for her 2008s.”
Cold and rain affected flowering in the spring, causing coulure (shot berries) and millerandage (poor fruit set). Temperatures thereafter remained cooler than average, particularly in August and September.
Vine growth was slow, and frequently interrupted by storms. This called for careful attention in the vineyard. The vines were sprayed sparingly and at just the right time in order to fight against oidium and mildew.
A long-awaited north wind began to blow on the 14th of September. This blew away the clouds, leaving a clear blue sky. The dry, cool, sunny weather enabled the grapes to continue ripening under good conditions.
Green harvesting after véraison (colour change) was essential in 2008 to eliminate the least ripe bunches of grapes.
Harvesting began in earnest on the 25th of September, and the grapes looked beautiful. Picking came to an end on the 6th of October in our plot of white Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Beaune.
After months of stress, analysis proved the grapes to have very good sugar levels, coupled with good acidity.
Our 2008 vintage wines are very promising. The white wines are fresh and aromatic, while the red wines have great colour and concentration.
So, things are looking very good for our white wines, and the low yields of red wine grapes was also encouraging.