New York, NY, October 5th, 2017 – The grape harvest has come to a close in Beaujolais and the hustle and bustle has now moved from the vineyards to the cellars. The greater part of the picking took place during the first two weeks of September; an ideal period for the winegrowers since the intense heat of the summer had passed, but the days were still long and bathed in sunlight.
2017 will be remembered as a year heavily touched by the vagaries of the weather, with some outbreaks of frost in the spring, violent hailstorms at the beginning of the summer and widespread drought. Rainfall on the eve of the harvest was happily received, as it brought a freshness that had been lacking up to that point. It enabled grapes in parcels most severely affected by hydric stress to achieve optimum maturity, allowing the Gamay grapes to express their full fruitiness and aromatic potential.
The vines were not subject to disease in 2017: despite a slight lack of water, they were in perfect sanitary condition and the grapes brought in were of excellent quality – concentrated and with superb acidic balance.
At the beginning of the harvest, the vine branches had hardened and the grape pips were slightly woody, both classic signs of full maturity. The thick, dense grape skins, combined with the incidence of shot berries and modest juice proportions, guaranteed magnificent levels of concentration.
First tastings reveal wines that are perfectly balanced between acidity, fruit and tannins. As the vine roots needed to dig even deeper into the earth to find their nourishment, it would appear that terroirs excel in their expression this year more than ever.
While it is still early to define with precision, the 2017 vintage is already showing immense quality.
“The maturity curves produced by the maturity network are looking very much like the 2015 vintage. The first juices confirm it, but definitely with more crispness, more elegance,” remarks Bertrand Chatelet, Director of the Sicarex (The Beaujolais Institute for Viticultural and Oenological Research). “The first wines are showing a gain in vitality and freshness,” he added.
There is only one small cloud on the horizon in 2017, for although the quality is indisputable, volumes, as in many other French wine producing areas, are low. Nature has spared hardly anyone this year!
Mark your calendar for November 16th as the kick-off for « Beaujolais Nouveau time » to discover all the fruit of our 2017 harvest in more depth.