September 25, 2006 Martine

A relatively cold and wet winter, followed by a late spring with no frost… a blooming season on schedule… it seems that no one had to worry!  July was scorching, then August was cold, overcast and wet, with unseasonably cool temperatures from the Mediterranean coast to Chablis. Upon my arrival in Macon, I immediately wanted to hear about the harvest from Dominique Cornin.  He was a total pessimist, complaining that veraison had stopped because of the cold weather in August, and that after two days of heavy rain, mildew had developed.  By September 6th, the temperature had risen to 90˚F…

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…