About the Climate 2014
Annual climate references :
Budburst : from the 1st to 13th April
Flowering : 3th June
Start of veraison : The end of July
Harvest : 16th September
Following a winter in 2013-2014 that was globally damp and temperate, May and June were marked by a period of drought; July and August were cool, with rain and storms. September brought a smile back with hot weather and superb conditions for the grape harvest.
The vine's period of rest :
With a damp, temperate autumn and winter marked by excessive rain (+ 100mm) and practically no frost (only in December, were there five consecutive days of frost, the only ones over the whole winter), we had every right to expect a majestic start! Such was indeed the case. A period of dry weather began in March and lasted till June. From the end of March, there was a 60% water deficit compared to the average. There is never very much rain in April and the deficit increased from 64 to 82%. In March and April, there were only nine days on which it rained.
Development of the vines :
This phenomenon of temperate weather and drought considerably accelerated the start to the growth cycle of the vine and 2014 became one of the years with the earliest start, comparable to 2011 and 2012. The first significant bleeding was observed at the beginning of March and bud burst began in early April. The cool temperatures maintained by the North wind in May slowed down the plant growth slightly. In late May and early June, the return of high temperatures stepped up the pace and flowering began. By mid June flowering had finished. On 28 June, as in the past two or three years, the sectors of Beaune, Pommard, Volnay and Meursault were hit by hail storms and suffered heavy damage.
The situation changed completely from July, with rain storms generating water excesses of between 40 and 100%; ditto for August with excesses of occasionally + 150% water. It was difficult to remain optimistic in such dreary, wet conditions coupled with falling temperatures. Under these conditions, development was seriously slowed down and it was not until the end of July beginning of August that we could regularly see grapes beginning to change colour.
The return of high pressure in early September was favourable for a good ripening and brought a smile back to the Wine growers, along with the hope of saving such a promising harvest. While the year was mostly favourable to healthy growth with no strong pressure of the diseases common to the vineyard, at the end of the season we had an unexpected arrival - sour rot, the extent and explosive nature of which took us quite by surprise. This attack was engendered by the heavy summer rain. The high temperatures in September fostered the explosive nature of the attacks as the disease was probably spread and amplified by the fruit fly - Drosophila Suzuki.
Harvest 2014 :
When the harvest began in mid September, ripening was adequate, favoured by the very hot temperatures at the beginning of the month, which contributed to a high degree of concentration of the grapes by evaporation.
After a particularly rigorous sorting on the vine and in the vat room, the main challenge was to cool the harvest down so that vinification and wine-making could take place under good conditions.
In view of the first tastings, once again, meticulous, continuous labours allowed us to produce a very interesting vintage despite surprise visitors (grey and sour rot), with good colour intensity and without over-extraction of the fine tannins and a good acid balance. Now all we have to do is "convert the try" with careful maturing and we shall have a vintage on a par with the years 2010, 2012 and 2013. To be confirmed once the maturing process is over.
Note that this year the winemaking was largely inspired and realised by Nicolas, who put into practice his vision of the vintage by producing a few vats in which the grape clusters were pressed whole, thereby imposing his idea of how our wines evolve on the Estate, respecting, of course, Philippe's style.
The family is growing, Caroline and little Charlotte are delighted to announce the birth of Constance, on 17 December 2014.