The beginning of the year was characterised by an unusually intense cold spell, the temperatures remaining around 0°C. January and February were rainy and snowy. The rainy weather continued in March and April with rainfall often 60% - 100% above the seasonal averages.
In these conditions the vines were slow to start, and the first tears were observed in the middle of the month of May. There were hardly any sunny days to obtain the first stage of bud break. The month of May also suffered from high rainfall and cool temperatures. These conditions severely hampered the growth of the vines, and at the end of the month we were observing a 15 to 18 day delay compared to a normal year.
At the beginning of June fine weather returned with normal seasonal temperatures thereby allowing a rapid and dynamic growth spurt. In certain areas new leaves were opening every 2 days. The first flowers were quickly observed by mid-June in the most early developing areas. The flowering progressed quickly under very hot temperatures for the season. Cool and humid conditions developed after the 20th of June, hampering the flowering and causing "coulure" (non transformation of flowers to fruit) and millerandage (small berry clusters) in numerous areas. These unfavourable weather conditions were present in both the south of Burgundy and the Chablis area alike. The estimated potential yields were down by 10 to 30%.
July was a hot month with above average periods of sunshine and high temperatures; consequently the vines underwent rapid evolution. The berries were growing and the bunches completely formed around the middle of the month in the Côte. In mid-July we were still observing a 10 day delay in development compared to normal. Sadly, on afternoon of the 23rd of July a hailstorm of severe violence rained down on the Côte de Beaune covering 1400 hectares, particularly in the areas of Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, and Meursault, but also in Pernand, Savigny and Chorey-lès-Beaune.
This is the 2nd consecutive year that these same parcels were hailed. The damage was between 20% and 100% depending on the area. The Clos des Mouches was badly hit in particular. The "veraison" (colouring) started around the 10th of August and progressed slowly despite sufficient sunshine. At the beginning of September the weather changed again with warmer temperatures and light rain in certain areas. The grapes ripened in good conditions.
The grape harvest started on the 30th of September in Côte de Beaune, on the 1st of October in the Côte de Nuits and on the 5th of October in Chablis. The picking lasted for 15 days.
The 2013 growing season was extremely tiring for winemakers. Phytosanitary treatments had to be started very early and continued throughout the whole of the season. The biodynamic treatments in the parcels stimulated the natural resistance of the vines, thereby obtaining a reasonably good crop.
The quantities of wine produced were very low due to the problems in the flowering, and hence the very meticulous sorting that resulted in order to guarantee the quality.
Style of the wines:
Chablis: crop 10 to 20 % lower than average. The harvest was fairly late. The wines have a very lively aspect, a light and subtle personality with the unique minerality which is typical of the "terroir" of Chablis.
In Côte d'Or the harvest was heterogeneous; the plots damaged by the hailstorms were carefully sorted. The acidity is fairly high, lending great character to the wines. We did not have the rich and opulent style of a hot year, but rather the precise and serious style issuing from a relatively late harvest.
Style of the wines:
"Coulure" and "millerandage" resulted in globally minute quantities especially in Côte de Nuits. The Pinot Noir grapes have luminous colours in diverse magnificent shades of red. The aromas are clean and aromatic with good concentration for the Premier and Grand Crus which were cellared to continue their ageing.
The Burgundy and Village appellations are seductive, round and fruity, some already being bottled.
8 September 2014