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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
24 Sep 2007

Here's the generic body's report on the 2007 harvest from Burgundy. Get reading between those lines…


Burgundy winemakers are bucking the trend of disappointing harvests in many wine-growing regions, having just completed promising first tastings. Sensibly, the growers decided to wait [until when exactly, I wonder? JR] before harvesting the grapes, selecting only the best right from the beginning of the process, starting with the vine stock itself. Sacrificing part of the crop is paying off, as are the careful choices made in the vinification process. With the uncertainties of late August now behind them, the 2007 vintage has been rescued from the rain!


This year in Burgundy, the bans des vendanges were deliberately announced very early in August. This new approach, in part due to early maturation, allowed each grower ample room for manoeuvre to choose the best harvesting date, a life-saver after a year of very unreliable weather conditions.


The Burgundy winemakers showed masterly control and patient, skilful judgement in their choice of dates for the grape harvest. Refusing to be panicked, they began by concentrating on the Crémant and then harvested the first Pinot Noir at the end of August. Each plot received meticulous attention [every single one???- JR] and the harvest extended over almost three weeks. There was then a gap before the Chardonnay grapes were picked, so they benefited from the return of the sunshine in early September and reached a good level of maturity. Another unusual feature of the 2007 vintage was that Mâcon and Chablis started last and at the same time – in the first ten days of September. Their harvests are coming to an end now.


The extremely strict quality standards of Burgundy wines are only achieved through meticulous work throughout the wine-making process, particularly in years like 2007. The wine-growers were right to opt for drastic crop-sorting and only keep the very finest grapes.


The winemakers worked hard to find the right balance between colour, aromas and tannins. At the first tastings, this vintage expressed all the typicity of Pinot Noir grown on the great Burgundy terroirs. Gentle extraction made it possible to obtain roundness and elegance, with fruity aromas and silky-smooth tannins. A fine cherry-red colour complements this range of sensations.


Whilst the whites are only just starting to ferment, tastings already reveal very good aromatic potential, expressing all the purity of Burgundy Chardonnay.


As usual, the annual Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction will take place on the third weekend of November – an excellent opportunity to taste and appreciate this new vintage.