As autumn sets in all across Europe, so the wine trade returns from its summer sojourn and prepares for the 2010 vintage. Maison Louis Jadot have released a detailed report in anticipation of the upcoming harvest.
Firstly, they anticipate starting to pick in Beaujolais on 15 Sep and in Burgundy on 23 Sep, which is later than average. 'In the Beaujolais the winter was very cold although the frozen soils before spring allowed them to collect good water reserves,' says Pierre-Henry Gagey of Jadot (pictured). 'Spring was somewhat shy and consequently the quantity of berries smaller than usual. Flowering occurred in June with some millerandage. July and August helped the vine growing rather slowly but in good conditions. Today, the Gamay berries are rather small but are quite concentrated with a good colour.'
He goes on to stress the vital importance of having dry, warm conditions from now until harvest but emphasises that 2010 'will be a winemakers' year', referring to the necessity of careful grape selection in both vineyard and winery. Jadot have a new facility this year, based in Givry in the Côte Chalonnaise, where they will be utilising vibrating grape-sorting tables for all the fruit, even for fruit destined for the humble generic Bourgogne appellation.
A fairly circumspect summary for Burgundy then, but there is less caution in Bordeaux, as Jancis reported at the end of July in Bordeaux - the 2010 vintage so far (plus, click the 2010 tag at the foot of this article for other information on this year's vintage). White grapes are now being gathered in Bordeaux – reputedly of excellent quality so far, with 'excellent aromatic potential with fine acidity and freshness', according to Guillaume Pourthier of Domaines Dourthe. The black grapes are looking promising too, with lower volumes than 2009 but ripeness and healthiness that could make some great wines. Again.
Nobody has yet dared to start the hype in earnest but, just like waiting for the right time to pick, it is surely only a matter of time …