Burgundy producers are forecasting a ‘magnificent’ 2009 vintage, with an early harvest across the region's appellations.
The vintage will be close to the exceptional quality of 2005, some vignerons are predicting. The first grapes will be picked on 5 September.
‘Burgundian legend has it that years that end in 9 are grand vintages,’ Cecile Mathiaud, spokeswoman for the Burgundy wine producers’ association, the BIVB, told decanter.com.
‘The quality this year follows a ten-yearly pattern that began in 1949. The weather has been exceptionally good, with a long, cold winter, a pleasant spring and a timely, hot summer.’
The BIVB predicted that total production this year among Burgundy’s 27,700ha of vineyards will be about 1.4m hectolitres, 10% less than in 2008.
‘We’re looking forward to a very fine vintage, very balanced,’ Martin Prieur, owner of the 21-hectare Côtes de Beaune vineyard Jacques Prieur told decanter.com.
‘There’s not a trace of rot, no waste, and there’s no reason to fear the weather between now and harvesting.’
The Chablis harvest is likely to begin around 14 September, more than two weeks earlier than last year.
‘An early harvest implies quality and this year carries all indications of an exceptional year,’ Chablis producer Jean-Paul Durup, of the prestigious Domaine Jean Durup, said. ‘The grapes were small and they’ve developed from this perfectly through the summer. This is easily the best year since 2005.’
Burgundy represents about 3% of total French wine production, with 100 appellations and 33 Grand Crus.
According to the BIVB, they all share the promise this year of being ‘fruity, concentrated, balanced and strong – in a word, magnificent.’
New video: How to store wine, with Steven Spurrier
Written by Graham Tearse in Paris