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A change of fortune at the end of Burgundy’s troubled 2016 vintage has left vignerons quietly optimistic.By Adam Lechmere | Posted Tuesday, 25-Oct-2016Burgundy is reeling from a growing season that decimated the vineyards and left a harvest that in some parts is a fraction of the size of last year. But if quantity is down, vignerons are pleased with the quality.Some of them are even delighted. Louis Fabrice Latour of the Beaune negociant talked of the miracle of Burgundy” in a harvest press release; others are equally optimistic. “I can’t believe the quality,” Erwan Faiveley said.Related stories:Uneven Burgundy Vintage Set to be SmallGrape Thieves Add to Burgundy’s WoesOrganic Boost for ChampagneFrom Beaujolais to Chablis the general opinion is that 2016, in white and red, will be not great but a fine, drinkable, classic vintage. Acidity and sugar are average. The wines in tank are showing lively, attractive fruit.As so often, all the talk is of the vintage being “saved” by September weather; it’s true the summer was fine and warm, and the days leading up to harvest were excellent – after a dreadful start to the growing season.Those who witnessed spring 2016 still shake their heads at the memory of it. April frosts caused temperatures to plummet as low as -6C, May hailstorms wrecked vineyards, and then the damp weather brought widespread mildew.Vignerons joked that the only disaster that hadn’t been visited on them was a plague of locusts. Chablis was hard hit. Only the grands crus on the right bank of the river Serein escaped weather that Michel Laroche said was the worst he’d seen in fifty years of winemaking. “And then it was the mildew that killed us. Fourchaume missed the frost and hail but lost half the crop to mildew.”But after the miserable start to the season, (“it wasn’t spring, it was winter,” one vigneron said), summer continued fine, allowing grapes to ripen evenly. By the end of September, Faiveley of Beaune told Wine-Searcher, “everything is great. The sky is blue, the days are warm and the nights are cool. I can’t believe the quality.””If you had called me two months ago I would have said forget it,” he added. But even he stopped short of unqualified delight. “This is going to be a late vintage and late vintages are never spectacular – think of 2008 and 2013. Acidity levels for the Pinot Noir are not high, but they are there.”By the middle of October, with all the grapes picked, vignerons have a better idea of quality. “It’s going to be classic, not great but very good,” Florian Migeon at Louis Latour told Wine-Searcher.The company’s head winemaker Jean-Charles Thomas re

Πηγή: Quality over Quantity in Burgundy | Wine News & Features

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