2008 - Another Great Vintage
Autumn and winter were rather dry and mild; spring was cool and humid, followed by a summer resembling 2007.
By mid-September, the weather in Burgundy turned extraordinary and allowed harvesting to take place under ideal conditions. Depending on the areas, the overall quantity is lower: 5% to 30% less than in 2007. On the other hand, the quality is high - and in Chablis even exceptional.
It is an exceptional crop. Picking lasted from September 25th to October 4th. We were few to harvest so early, but low yields meant precocious maturity... the sanitary state, acidity and sugar levels were excellent. The year was difficult but the biological culture proved to be successful.
We are quite confident to say that 2008 is one of the greatest vintages of the past 25 years.
All the wines from the village Chablis to the Grand Crus, depending on their level of appellation, show concentration, richness, freshness, minerality and intense aromas. It could be interesting to lay down these Chablis as their aromatic potential is important. Although very pleasant and seductive when young, you could also keep these Chablis up to 4 or 5 more years, the Premier Crus from 7 to 8 and the Grand Crus to drink from 2011 and the next 12 years.
The climatic conditions were rather difficult in August in the whole vineyard.
But the improved weather from early September combined with a reduced quantity of grapes accelerated the maturity. Picking started on September 22nd and ended on October 6th. Those are classical dates.
The malolactic fermentations began later than usual and lasted several months. This ageing on the lees has allowed the wines to gain complexity, flesh, and to reduce the acidity level. The quality is homogeneous all across the Côte d'Or. The wines show richness, minerality and freshness.
Both in Côte de Beaune and in Côte de Nuits, the yields at Joseph Drouhin estates are low (from 15 to 30% down compared to last year).
Just after the flowering we had expected the yields to be lower; but the sorting of the grapes further reduced the quantity produced. The colours are more intense than 2007, with a beautiful clean red ruby colour. The wines have good substance with a very nice freshness and refined tannic structure.
Côte de Nuits wines seem to have a greater ageing potential than the Cote de Beaune.