If we thought that 2012 was a difficult year, it was nothing compared to 2013! Up until mid June, Chablis had beaten all records in terms of excessive rainfall and uncharacteristically cold weather. The situation was so extreme that we had to use a conventional treatment in order to protect our harvest, and thus lost our organic certification.
Luckily, from mid June onwards, the good weather finally arrived and the warm sun and easterly wind helped dry out our vineyards. Despite having lost our certification, we continued our organic treatments.
Summer was magnificent with high temperatures until early September when a brief wet period interrupted the ripening of the grapes and brought the first signs of rot. The warm, dry weather returned and stopped the rot developing further, leading us to predict a late harvest at the beginning of October, in good conditions.
We started harvesting our Chablis vineyards in perfect conditions with good degrees. Sadly, while we waited a few extra days for the Fourchaume vines to reach optimum maturity, an extremely hot and humid weekend set off a generalised attack of rot the like of which I have never seen in 50 years of winemaking in Chablis! We had no choice but to harvest immediately as the grapes started to fall off the vine. We hand-selected the best of our grapes from our oldest vineyards and then had to continue with harvest machines for the last parcels.
2013 is an extremely small vintage – we are missing about third of the normal yield. Alcohol degrees are good, at around 12,5°. Wines from vines harvested before the rot are very good, fresh and elegant. The wines from the older Fourchaume vineyards, which were hand-selected, are complex and fresh, with a good minerality. However, the wines made from the parcels that were badly hit by the rot have a more rounder, supple character, with less minerality.