Jean-Martin Dutour: “I’m very happy with the quality but our bank manager isn’t happy about the volume we’ve made this year. It doesn’t take long to do a tour of all the vats! Overall our average yield is 35 hl/ha – on parts of the plain around Cravant it is only 30. We lost 10 hl/ha from the early April frost and then 10 hl/ha like everyone else from other factors during the year such as the drying wind during September and October.
But the quality is very good, although for the moment the acidities are high – there’s a lot of malic. We will have to see what happens once the malolactic fermentation is finished. We started picking around the 4th/5th October and finished on 20th. The grapes’ potential varied between 12% and 14%. Once again this year there has been no need to chaptalise.”
I ask Jean-Martin if there is another vintage that 2008 resembles. His response is commendably cautious. “It is really too early to say. It depends upon how far the acidity lessens and softens. High acidity means that the wines will age a long time but won’t necessarily get better as high acidity never softens – take 1986, for example. Certainly the reds are bigger than last year – more structured and with more substance.”