After the low yields of the 2016 vintage, it’s as if nature wanted to make up for the shortfall and console us with an abundance of fruit as never seen before. Some mean-spirited types see this as an over-abundance, but we are delighted with the big harvest. And for the first time, we finally have all our 36 appellations in production, even if volumes remain very limited for some of the younger plots. Let’s take a look.

The newcomers

Vougeot Premier Cru Les Cras is back! 
This sun-drenched vineyard that lies along the lower part of Le Clos Blanc, which was pulled up in 2011 and entirely replanted in 2013, last year provided us with a tiny yield of one pièce (the standard Burgundian barrel), but this year produced 14 and a half pieces of superb juice. After an absence for six vintages, this great wine from Vougeot is back with a bang!

The last vintage produced from this plot was in 2013. It has since been replanted and we have been impatiently waiting for production to resume from the two plots of Clos des Chênes (600m2) and Ez Blanches (0.41 hectares), which finally yielded three-and-a-half pièces from very small, concentrated grapes. But the harvest was still tiny from these vines on their fourth leaf.

Nuits-Saint-Georges Le Clos de Thorey 
Half of this three-hectare monopole at the top of the slope comprises young vines in their fifth year, and last year it produced seven-and-a-half pieces, which is a good start.
Fairly active ageing seems to be the order of the day. The white grand crus almost all finished alcoholic fermentation early, in December, and have begun their malolactic fermentation, although some have not yet finished their initial fermentation.
As for the reds, some had even begun malolactic fermentation even before going into barrels, and only three wines have yet to complete this stage: The two Nuits-Saint-Georges of Les Corvées Pagets and Les Damodes, and the Beaune Les Grèves.
After tasting, some of the wines were transferred from one barrel to another on 20 May. These included the Côte de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches, Beaune Premier Cru Le Clos du Roi, and Beaune La Montée Rouge. Ageing is progressing nicely, and the wines currently offering the best tasting experience are the Volnay, which was very expressive from the start, Nuits-Saint-Georges Le Clos de Thorey, Gevrey-Chambertin Les Evocelles, and Vougeot Premier Cru Les Cras. Plus the wondrous Charlemagne!