Yield: 2.1 Tons per Acre
Harvest: October 1 –24th
Numbers @ Harvest: 23.5° Brix, 6.9 grams acidity, 3.4 pH
Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy- Sirugue, Francois 80% new
Bottling: July 2000 no fining or filtration
Release Date: Spring 2002
Coming on the heels of the extreme 1998 growing season, this year ’99 was off to another bizarre start. Freak snowstorms hit twice in March and twice again in April. Global warming was not on our minds as spring finally arrived in late May.
Because of this late beginning everything was late. Not a grape was harvested in September: no Pinot, no Chardonnay, nothing. In my twenty-one years orchestrating the harvest here, this was a first. For a full four weeks we patiently waited, testing the grapes in the lab and imagining greatness in the bottle.
In this business, patience has its rewards. The vines, with the full extent of the warming sun, took their time to ripen the grapes. So what if we picked a month late, the berries were perfect.
Totally barrel fermented and aged on the yeast until bottling in the summer of 2000, this wine’s breed and finesse epitomize this vintage. The complexity, typical of the estate, is beginning to shine yet this is still in a youthful stage. Yeasty bread dough, sage and mineral aromas are added to the base of honeysuckle and lemon. The impression on the palate is quiet at first and expansive at the end. Classic wine in a nutshell.
Other late ripening years, i.e. 1976, 1978, 1983, 1991 have all aged at a snails pace. There is something about the warming sun and the autumnal equinox that gives these vintages full expression of this mountain terroir. Give it another few years in the bottle and drink with pleasure over the following decade.