September 15, 2004 Martine

At the end of August, the outlook was grim. Following the flowering, the cool nights of June led to oidium (powdery mildew). July was wet. August was overcast and cool, which meant no luminosity—so necessary for the ripening of the grapes. Then, two major hail storms unfurled over Pommard and Volnay, all the way to Marsannay devastating vineyards and causing 10% to 80% damage to the vines. On the positive side, the wet winter that followed the severe draught of the Summer of 2003, revived the severely damaged but shallow-rooted younger vines. It seemed to be a promising normal crop…

October 1, 2003 Martine

I arrived in Mâcon on August 25th, anticipating that the harvest would start on September 1st –already at least two to three weeks earlier than customary.  The hot weather began in mid-June and was still in the mid-nineties when I arrived. There were no green meadows on the Beaujolais and Mâconnais hillsides, just burnt trees here and there.  Only the vineyards painted striking green patches in the California-like landscape! As you know, vines have deep roots. The older the vine, the longer the roots, sometimes reaching up to 50 feet, allowing them to get nutrients and water. [caption id=”attachment_1773″ align=”alignright”…

September 23, 2002 Martine

It is always premature to proclaim the quality or mediocrity of a vintage before it is crushed and resting in a cask.  However, the 2002 vintage shows, in every way, the promise of a sensational vintage and here is why: On September 10, I witnessed horrendous storms in the Rhône Valley (I will give you a briefing later on that region) and some very unusual and spotted thunderstorms in Burgundy, but nothing in comparison. Burgundy had a Spring without frost and an early blooming season that slowed down with cooler weather, allowing some millerandage (great). Véraison started mid July with…

October 1, 2001 Martine

Following six months of constant rain, cool weather and a wet Spring, the vines started to grow rapidly in May and blossomed in mid-June. July was wet and August stormy with, at times, very warm temperatures reaching 100°F. A terrible hail storm mostly localized in Volnay but also affecting adjacent Monthélie and Meursault, devastated most of the vineyards. Depending on their location, some bunches were severely bruised. The rest of Côtes-de-Beaune and Côtes-de-Nuits were without major incident and, because a lot less rain fell in the Gevrey-Chambertin area, the condition of the grapes was clearly much healthier. From the beginning…