Vintage 2012

Bouzeron, le 10 janvier 2014

We are pleased and proud to present you the wines produced in 2012 and that are, without a doubt for us, one of the most successful of the last ten years in the Côte Chalonnaise.

Aristotle would have appreciated this vintage, he who wrote that the wines, when they are good, « smelt of the sun and contained both a lot of warmth and a large proportion of land. »

This 2012 vintage is indeed a successful combination of the essential elements contributing to shape a landscape and its terroir : exposure, altitude, soil, sub-soil at the condition naturally that they go harmoniously with the weather conditions, so impetuous this year but exceptionally favourable on the eve of the harvest.

After the 2011 harvest and the progressive shut down of vegetal activity from the vines, a rigorous winter settled in with a particularly polar February.

March, on the contrary to a cold February, presented some more spring temperatures (between 20 and 24º) and favoured an early budburst around March 23rd.

Then the rain settled in the vineyard from April and reached some rarely seen levels of precipitations (one day out of three) until July which greatly hampered not only the men's work in the vineyard but also and most of all the flowering of this vine. It lasted roughly a month because of the rain and the cold. From there, coulure and millerandage settled in, in particular on the Aligoté vines located at the top of the hill. The amount of grapes per vine was much lower but in the end allowed them to mature better.

Then, even if July was chaotic and there was a strong pressure from our traditional enemies: mildew and powdery mildew, the foliage of the vines and the grapes, with their thick skin, helped by their self-defence, thanks to organic methods being practiced for several decades, were in the best conditions to resist.

August was hot and beautiful with a heat wave around the 15th but without any heat damage. This summer light helped the vines photosynthesis and enabled the grapes to mature more quickly.

Finally and as ever, September which is the month that will decide the fate of the vintage. Some temperature close to normal, slightly above average rainfall, a northern wind combined with the heat and the lack of humidity, gave the grapes the possibility to reach a remarkable maturity for this vintage.
Harvest started on September 24th. Even if the crop on the vine was quite weak (30 to 40% down compared to 2011 for some of them), we were lucky to pick healthy grapes which had reached perfect physiological maturity with ripe skins, full of anthocyanins, pips well lignified and sugar levels more than honourable. Hardly any work at the sorting table was needed such were the grapes beautiful and untouched by Botrytis.

The vinification as well as the maturation took place harmoniously and the wines could be bottled keeping their "natural". Attached is our latest tasting notes.

You will find attached our allocation proposal for the 2012 vintage. We reserve the possibility to retrocede these allocations if we do not have a rapid confirmation from your part.

We are sending you our kindest regards.

Aubert de Villaine/ Pierre de Benoist