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The last grapes are coming into the Hospices de Beaune cuverie on 20th September. The weather has been beautiful every day while the grapes were being picked: in fact it has been beautiful almost every day across the last three months. Bright, sunny, dry and mostly not too hot.
There were scares early in the season with some significant frost risk, and one or two of the Hospices plots were slightly affected. The weather was cool and sometimes damp in June, which delayed the flowering and slightly reduced the yield. Thereafter summer sunshine bathed the vineyards, providing impeccable ripening and entirely healthy grapes.
The whites were picked first, mostly in the week beginning 9th September. Though there were plenty of bunches of grapes, the berries themselves were on the small side, so yields are lower than hoped but the wines have extraordinary potential: very flavoursome, extremely concentrated and with good acidity levels to balance them.
The Hospices de Beaune team were as meticulous as ever on the sorting tables but there was almost nothing that needed deselecting: occasional scorched berries and a stray leaf or two, but nothing in the way of rot or other disease. There is a little more variability in yields amongst the reds, with some at very low levels and others just a little bit less than normal. Quality, as with the white wines, may well prove to be exceptional. “I am very hopeful that 2019 will be among the greats”, says Ludivine Griveau – “though it is too early to be sure. We will know more after vinification.”
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