JMIB August Newsletter August 19th, 2023

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Dear all,


It has been a quiet time on the wine tasting front since last we spoke – one tasting in Nuits-St-Georges, one in Bouzeron and an interesting Sunday traipsing round half a dozen producers in the little known Couchois district. This will be the subject of an upcoming report – it is important that we do not only cover the grander wines of Burgundy.

I have also been taking time off to work in the garden, though trimming edges can be more dangerous than one might think, as I all but sliced through a nest of Asian hornets.

Since last month’s newsletter and Steve Pritchard’s report on the launch of 2013 Dom Perignon and a vertical of older vintages, we have published:

While a fifth is published today, and should be well worth reading as I have taken the opportunity to cover in depth both the vineyard practices and developments in the cellar at this fascinating domaine which has recently and deservedly shot to fame. How will the 2020s stack up after the enthralling 2019s?

Meanwhile, we have been making a few tweaks to the website, not all of them enacted yet. We shall report further this time next month.

The 2023 Growing Season

I mentioned the hailstorm of 11th July in last month’s newsletter. In the end, the damage was not too significant, more a question of helping producers to do some necessary crop thinning, though a few spots were hit rather harder – St-Aubin, Meursault-Blagny and the southern end of Rully for example.

The weather was warmer in the second half of July, but remained a little unsettled, and August felt actually cool, with weather conditions more typical of April – frequent showers and generally cool blustery weather. Thick sweaters were in order by the evenings. A certain amount of sunshine and significantly more warmth returned by the 10th of the month, but the weather remained unstable with frequent heavy showers and thunderstorms, interspersed with warm sunshine. The coming week is expected to be hot and sunny, with temperatures slightly above 30C, before a return to cooler weather with further showers.

Véraison started during the last week of July and was well under way during the first week in August, but the variable size of the crop has given rise to some disparity. Those with a respectable, balanced crop in place have advanced more regularly than those with too many, or too big, bunches.

Above 2 images taken 9th August.

A few people may begin before the end of August, but the first week in September (Côte de Beaune) or second week (Côte de Nuits, Chablis) looks more likely. Hail now would be a problem and there remains also a risk of pourriture if the grapes in the tight heavy bunches start to swell and possibly with the rain and upcoming warmth. Typical vigneron anxieties!

Ripening grapes in Marsannay – but should they be fully exposed to the sun? Image taken 18th August.

Date for the Diary

Tuesday 26th September; 6pm BST

Join Jasper Morris & Steve Pritchard on zoom. A chance for all to join us and ask questions about what is going on in Burgundy and Champagne – 2023 harvest prospects, current talking points in either region, and JMIBs plans for the future.

Click here to join the Zoom webinar at 6pm on 26th September.

Happy Holidays and Hopefully a Healthy Harvest!

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