After the spectacular film of the Pichon Baron harvest, I thought the best way to give you some idea of how things went in the other properties would be to talk to the individual directors of each property and ask them to give us their view on how things went in 2014.
I asked Jacques Devauges at Domaine de l’Arlot (Burgundy) for his impressions of the harvest.
“For Arlot, conditions were generally favourable: early and sunny spring (though there was an episode of hail on the 28th at Vosne); summer was mixed (from the end of July to the end of August there was rain and some relatively cool weather).
But the famous wind from the north in the month of September that has saved many harvests in Burgundy was there on time in 2014! With a very dry sunny weather, not too hot, we had good conditions for finishing the ripening of the grapes. This north wind was also favourable to an important concentration in the grapes, and the bunches which were swollen and shiny at the end of August took on a different and more favourable aspect, matt and concentrated.
Date of the harvest:
We harvested in two phases this year in order to profit to the maximum from the wonderful conditions for ripening.
The whites were harvested the 11th and 12th September.
Then after a two day pause we brought in our reds from the 15th to the 20th of September, under a radiant sunshine, apart from a short rainy episode on the 19th September.
A good harvest, significantly more than in 2012 and 2013, although still a little lower than a “normal” year: our average yield over the whole domaine was 30hl/ha.
The quality of the white grapes was excellent: very healthy grapes, golden yellow and aromatic, though with fairly low amount of juice in relation to the rest of the harvest.
The Pinot Noirs had suffered the most from the summer conditions: there were a few appearances of Botrytis, but which were dried and stabilized by the excellent conditions of the month of September.
The level of millerandage was average, and essentially present in our old vines.
The analytic parameters of sugar and acidity were good, with natural degrees between 12.5 and 13.2, in white and reds.
The fermentations began this year fairly quickly, but took place in a harmonious and regular fashion.
The reds remained in vat between 15 and 18 days.
At decuvage and after some days in barrels, the wines already showed complex and smooth aromas. In the mouth there is good matter, and the textures are sweet. These are wines that offer great depth and sensuality. We are headed for a very lovely vintage, but we will know more after the malolactic fermentations, probably in spring 2015.
For the whites, the alcoholic fermentations are not yet finished. One notices already a very lovely freshness, purity and rigour. En bouche they are well constructed, around an energetic frame. But even more than with the reds, we will have to be patient, and wait for the end of the fermentations.
2014 which began very early and looked like it would be very advanced, in fact slowed down its progress in August, only to finish in excellent conditions in September. The wines should be of a very high level.
The quantities we produced after several years of very low harvests are (almost) normal.”