Le millésime des extrêmes !
The vintages follow each other but are never quite the same!
The wines have only just been put into barrels and already wine-lovers are wondering: Les Chambertin, les Chapelle and les Latricières, will they be refined and elegant?
Will they have the fruit and balance of the 1995s? Will their power and weight equal the egendary 1996s?
Here are our first impressions based on the wine still in fermentation vats, our first impressions of this vintage that, without dispute, already captivates and astonishes us.
A year fraught with extremes!
This vintage doesn’t resemble any other vintage in the least: 1998 can be characterized by perpetually alternating cold and hot spells. As the beginning of the 1997 winter was especially mild, trimming advanced rapidly. After such headway was achieved, a long period of cold weather followed, continuing until the end of January. So the pruning shears had to be set aside until the mild weather returned. In the spring, the vine awakened slowly from a long winter
Our decision, after making sure to raise the height of our trimmer, was to delicately remove the leaves by hand in areas where the grape bunches faced north.
This long and tedious chore, performed throughout the entire domain, was crowned with success. The threat of Oidium subsided as veraison approached. The onset of veraison was observed August 10th, under a scorching sun: we had to gather the grapes of the youngest vines early, the temperature was 41°C in the shade! Who said that the vine grows in the winemaker’s shadow ?
After the good weather, rain! These unstable weather conditions could have damaged the quality of the grapes, however, rid of excess leaf cover and preserved by the cold, these small grapes were resistant.Sunday September 20th, the night before harvest: the team was there in full force.
The winemakers of Gevrey who had been harvesting since Friday, shared with us their surprise: the grapes were good, healthy and ripe!
After uncertainty came hope, hope for an exquisite yield,reflecting the terroir that nurtured it.
The forecast announced that weather conditions were improving, so we decided to start Monday with our Burgundy appellation.
In order to take full advantage of the final benefits of the dry north wind, we waited before picking our thickskinned cru grapes.
Harvest of the Chambertin appellation didn’t take place until the end of the week: Friday September 25th, in dry sunny weather.
After two very selective sortings, the grapes were carefully transferred to fermentation vats.
Fermentation began slowly then became more turbulent, releasing aromas into the vat hall.
Successive tastings of these «new-born» wines are reminiscent of the 1995 vintage, round, well structured, with pronounced ripe fruit. But we must be patient, in the silence of the cellar the wines evolve slowly.