It is an amateurs view of an opera:
“it ain’t over until the fat lady sings”.
A grape harvest, no matter where in the world, should not be judged until at least the stage where the juice of the grapes is happily burbling away in tank, barrel and vat. This was 2014 in France’s Burgundy area. A warm Spring caused hopes to soar, a lengthy period of “dirty” weather was a summer – long depressing time for the vigneron. Week after week of cloud and rain with the occasional storm.
Anyone vacationing in Burgundy in the Summer of ’14 came away pale, sad and damp. This was in fact much like the grapes here! Maturity of the grapes, especially for the black – skinned Pinot Noir dragged on like a reluctant teenager heading off to school.
If you were a lucky visitor in August and through September however, the cool north wind known as the “bise” and the intense luminosity of the sun, unhindered by clouds, came charging in like the U.S. cavalry! You don’t need heat to properly ripen grapes but the vine needs sunlight and Burgundy was bathed in it for several weeks before harvest. Creased brows and frowns (if not downright depressed demeanors) vanished like the clouds!
There will be some lovely whites and reds from Burgundy from the 2014 harvest.
As always, it will be the smartest, most rigourous and most talented of vigneron(ne)s who will offer us the best wines. The less capable producers may offer us some patchy stuff, but thankfully for us at Metrovino (and of course, for you!), we work with a hand picked group of talented growers.
Tasting some of the just -finished fermenting wines at Chateau de Beauregard, the 2014 white wines have the beautiful, classic “tension” (fresh acidity) and yet already display some of the rounder “flesh” of Southern Burgundy.
Be patient and in 18 months or so, you’ll see that the fat lady sang beautifully in the end!!
Joseph Burrier Chénas “Les Darroux” 2011 $25
The Gamay grape shows the dusty strawberry fruit and the gentle tannins found in this very small village appellation. Like a fine Pinot Noir, the Gamay has freshness but also an attention-grabbing “serious” side that can satisfy the seekers of complexity as well as those who seek only pleasure!
Chateau de Beauregard St Véran (en Magnum) 2013 $59
This is a wine that can only get better when there is more of it! This magnum will disappear from the dinner table like water in the desert! Crisp and fresh southern Burgundy Chardonnay where oak is not in evidence but rather the fruit of this grape.