Harvest Day Five

Jan van Roekel joined us today at Domaine Anne Gros and did a day’s harvesting; I know he will spend the weekend at Domaine David Clarke in Morey St. Denis, do look at his site Burgoholic for his photos and more on his perception of the harvest across the region.  (Update:  sadly he seems to have taken down his site.)

We resumed harvesting today after four days off, beginning with the Bourgogne Blanc, a small parcel to the east of the N74 and railway lines.  Overcast but mild, there had been rain overnight but the ground was firm, and we got the grapes harvested in good time, just two hours I think, pausing only to wave to the commuters in the trains passing by.

Then to the Chambolle Musigny, Combe d’Orveau.  I’ve drunk this wine several times this week, and it is lovely, it may be my favourite of hers.  Beautiful vineyard in the tail end of the combe, the entire parcel from this break back to the end is hers, just over one hectare.

You can see there was still some high fog and overcast (about 10:15 I think), but that all burned off by mid day, and after lunch it was really very warm and blazing sun, so much so that after an hour or two I felt a little sick and dizzy and switched teams to harvest in the shadow that was beginning to creep down the southwest side of the combe.  Also the ground here was softer and muddier, and with all the herbage underfoot, you found yourself with a kilo of mud and weeds clinging to each boot… slows you down a bit!  Grapes in good condition, some pourriture but again nothing like last year, and that whiff of that lovely smokey scent occasionally, also thyme.

There was noticeably more insect life here – I suppose with the patch of grass in front and the woods all around, also Anne letting things grow between vines, it’s a cosy ecosystem for the little darlings.  After  lunch I sat with a friend leaning against the wall of the domaine in the sun, and we were discussing this, when he said, “as a matter of fact…” and reached to pull an insect out of my hair.  I noticed one on his collar.  He spotted another tangled in my plait… all I could think of was the National Geographic specials of the baboons in Africa picking fleas off one another!!  Later in the afternoon I startled the crew with a small shriek and begged the man in the next allée to harvest the grapes for me from his side – my side of one entire vine was blanketed with a cobweb and there was a seriously huge ugly translucent yellowey white spider in the middle.  He laughed till he saw the spider himself, and then cut the grapes as quickly as he could and from as great a distance as possible!  I really cannot bear spiders…

Jan and I and the three Belgian guests from the gite all had dinner together at Chez Guy in Gevrey Chambertin.  Excellent meal and service, wonderful company and good wines.  At least two of the men had escargots for their starters and said they were the best they’d had yet, and I had a lovely composed salad of lightly cooked mini vegetables with generous shavings of summer truffles.  The truffles were so fragrant, and in an odd reversal, I was trying to place the nose of the truffles amongst some wines I had had, possibly mature Mascarello nebbiolos, a Cigliutti barbaresco, or some Lisini pre-phylloxera wines I once tasted (interestingly no French wine came to mind).

We had three wines with dinner, the first bottle 2006 Bourgogne from Bachelet, and the second 2002 Gevrey-Chambertim from Serafin, both excellent, real pleasures.  After that, I said I couldn’t possibly have more, I had to wake up and harvest the next day, and shook my head when the sommelier offered a fresh third glass.  I didn’t hear what they ordered, and when the bottle was placed on the table, it was turned so I could see only the first letter C of the name – but I recognised the script instantly – Domaine Georges Roumier’s Chambolle Musigny 2006 – and begged the sommelier to bring me that fresh glass after all… of course we were drinking it too young, but as always with Christophe Roumier’s wines, a sensual and complex mouthful.  Bliss… I took the cork home for souvenir (though I did NOT sleep with it under my pillow as my friends expected!  But only because I was afraid of losing it).  Nice end to the day.