Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant 2015

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée-Saint-Vivant 2015

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Harvest report 2015
The vine celebrates the inscription of the Climats of Burgundy as World Heritage

A harvest like this one, made of small compact clusters, not millerandé, with thick skins full of anthocyanins and ripe tannins, medium in quantity and whose early and ultra-fast flowering ensured an exceptionally homogeneous and complete maturity, but without falling into over-maturity, we do not remember having seen any similar ...

As every year, we are happy - but perhaps even more today as this 2015 vintage is impressive - to give you our impressions of the 2015 harvest that we have just experienced and to put the spotlight on the elements that seemed to us to be the best. more striking in the construction of this exceptional vintage. If we are sending it to you later than usual, it is because this year we are dealing with such an extraordinary and confusing vintage in all respects, where nature has taken so much to the extreme, but without ever going beyond the point. balance, all the factors that make us produce great wines in Burgundy, that we did not want to deliver them to you before having a clear idea of ​​the wines, fermentations and bottling completed.

But let us first recall that 2015 marks an essential and very emotional moment for Burgundy: on July 4 in Bonn, Germany, the Unesco World Heritage Committee, unanimously by the 21 member countries of the Committee, has registered the Climats of the Burgundy vineyards on the World Heritage List of Humanity. The Committee thus recognized that in Burgundy was born, developed and prospered a viticulture anchored in a long history, model of all the terroir viticultures of the world, which was built by creating a Culture that it is. it is essential to respect and protect if we want to pass it on in its integrity to future generations.

And it was indeed as if, in 2015, the vine had wanted to celebrate the prestigious distinction thus awarded to it. She has shown herself more beautiful than ever throughout the year and more generous also by giving us grapes that are among the most beautiful that she has ever produced. Even today, at the time of writing, she has put on her most beautiful autumn clothes and her foliage, which a beautiful summer has left intact, shimmers like never before with all the fawn, golden and purple shades that announce certainly its next dormancy, but which are also those which have earned it the name of Côte d'Or that it now bears for eternity.

The winter was mild: the lowest temperature recorded was -6 ° C around February 12, and the rains were heavy, creating a strong reserve of humidity which is very useful to the vines throughout the year. dry that we have known.

This dry and hot trend of the year was announced in the spring, mild and dry, except for two episodes of heavy rains, on May 1 and June 15, which arrived at exactly the right time to provide the dose of humidity. which the vine was beginning to need.

This dry and hot weather accompanied by a constant north wind, this friend of the vineyard and the winegrower, had a decisive impact on the harvest by creating the conditions for early flowering, very fast and therefore exceptionally homogeneous. We saw no sagging and practically no millerandage.

The month of July was also dry and hot, even scorching from July 2 to 8 with night temperatures of 30 °! During the whole month, only 14 small millimeters of rain fell ... Some days the heat is such that we observe a blockage in the evolution of the grapes. But verées berries are spotted in Romanée-Conti and Corton from July 27.

The first half of August was humid and mild, with no heat peaks. The vines catch their breath and the grapes ripen peacefully. Mid-veraison is observed around August 9, announcing the harvest for the beginning of September.

In the second half of August, we see a return of the north wind, fine dry weather and high temperatures for the season, in particular three days of heatwave at the end of the month.

During all that time, let us repeat, the vine has remained surprisingly green, healthy and perfectly connected to all the astral and telluric forces that give it life. She liked the dry conditions of 2015. The heat waves of July twice blocked her progress, but each time they were corrected by stormy episodes which brought the necessary humidity. The vines thus experienced an almost ideal development and, thanks to these exceptional weather conditions, 2015 was a rather easy year for the winegrower. We have always been able to intervene at the right time and in the right place, whether it be for adding compost, soil work, manual work or phytosanitary treatments!

These, although exceptionally few in number, were saving when, perfection not being of this world, a shadow was invited to the table: powdery mildew. This fungus, which develops during cold and humid nights, took advantage of the rare rainy episodes of spring to appear and become embedded in the Nuits-St-Georges, Vosne-Romanée and Flagey-Echezeaux sectors.

This attack forced us to be very vigilant, even though we had regular help from the dry weather and the north wind to eradicate the fungus. Our crop manager Nicolas Jacob and his team were able to successfully manage a situation which was complicated by the fact that the sulfur used for the treatment of

At harvest time, we had grapes of impeccable sanitary quality, but in average quantity, rather compact, very few millerandés, carriers of berries with exceptionally thick skins and full of anthocyanins, forged by the heat, the intensity. the sun which had gone so far as to burn some of them, and the slaps administered by successive thunderstorms. Not the slightest trace of botrytis. But the most remarkable fact, which is also linked to early and rapid flowering, is the level of maturity of the grapes. This homogeneity of flowering has logically resulted in a maturity that is both homogeneous and extreme, but without ever touching over-maturity as was the case in 2003. This balance can also be seen in the analyzes of the musts at the harvest. and today wines,

On September 4, we started the harvest in Montrachet in dry and mild weather. The Chardonnay vines have indeed matured extremely quickly due to the very hot days of the second half of August and the very rapid rise in sugar levels led us to harvest this vine first. Result: ripe grapes of magnificent, perfect quality, superbly golden, announcing a very great white wine, which seems to confirm the first tastings of the wine which is currently finishing its malolactic fermentation in barrels.

On September 5, we harvest the vines of Corton and find that the impressions of the pre-harvest were correct, that is to say that the Pinot Noir grape harvested is of perfect sanitary quality and very ripe. Thanks to the solidity of the grape skins, botrytis never appeared, even on the second generation grapes (verjuice) that the harvest left on the vine and which waited until the end of October to ripen. and bring happiness to many “Sunday winegrowers”!

After a day of rest on Sunday 6th, we attack our Vosne-Romanée vines on Monday 7th September. The instructions to the harvesters were the simplest we have seen in recent years since botrytis was totally absent and all that was needed was to eliminate the few berries toasted by the heat wave on the bunches most exposed to the sun. There were also fig berries, that is to say extra-ripe, but these of course had to be preserved.

The fine, dry and mild weather accompanies us until the 12th. Very heavy rains on the 12th, but we were already in Echezeaux, the last vines harvested, which we finished on September 14th.

Here are the dates of the harvest as well as the approximate yields:

Romanée-Conti: September 10, 22 hl / ha
La Tâche: September 7 and 8 25 hl / ha
Richebourg: September 8 and 9 24 hl / ha
Romanée-St-Vivant: September 9, 10 and 11 26 hl / ha
Grands-Echezeaux: September 11 and 12 30 hl / ha
Echezeaux : September 12 and 14 25 hl / ha
Corton: September 5 22 hl / ha
Montrachet: September 4 30 hl / ha

The perfectly completed phenolic maturity of the grapes led us to choose to make the vinifications in whole harvest, that is to say - say without any scuffing. Such vinifications are always a challenge. They were masterfully managed by Bernard Noblet and his team.

Fermentations were rich, powerful and exceptionally long (21 to 23 days depending on the vintage) due to the high polyphenol content of the grapes and their high sugar content. Many small berries with exceptionally strong skins did not deliver their juice until the end of fermentation and, for some, even under the force of the press only.

The wines were therefore introduced with a little sugar which continued its fermentation in the barrels, thus bringing to the wines an additional suppleness and smoothness. If still today there is silence in the cellar, we can hear the barrels whispering the song of the wine being born.

The wines have deep purple colors, bouquets that exhale fruit and ample tannins in the mouth. There is no trace of over-maturity, as was the case in 2003, but all the opulence and richness of extreme maturity.

In the finished wines, we see the well-known characters of power and balance of Richebourg, of strength with a touch of licorice from the Task, of elegance and length on the palate of Romanée-Conti which is already taking off. above others.


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