Jean-Marc Moron, the Hospices de Nuits winemaker, gives us some information about the next vintage, 2021:
“The beginning of the year was difficult because we suffered a spring frost in early April, which was actually more like a winter frost, with a thick layer of cold air bringing temperatures below minus 7°C in the lower section of the Nuits.
After the April frost, we had late winter/early spring weather for seven weeks until the end of May … cool, damp, with not much sun, and the vines took a long time to recover. That’s why we were rather cautious in our estimates of the frost damage, since we saw the vines growing slowly, producing light-coloured, yellowish leaves.
Today we’ve started to assess the damage, and discovered that it is perhaps not as great as we feared in the Pinot Noir. There’s new growth, and although some buds were frostbitten and haven’t produced anything, overall most of the buds shooting are fruit-bearing primary buds. Now, we’ll be looking at a crop of average volume, which isn’t bad compared to what we feared at the end of April.
There’s water in the soil and the sun has been shining for two weeks, and the vines have been revelling in the heat. We have caught up a week on the vines’ development compared to what we first thought, and therefore on the potential harvest date too.
Five weeks ago we were anticipating around the end of September, beginning of October, but with the good weather and plenty of water in the soil, we should be looking at harvesting around 20 September. That’s good news, because it means that the grapes will ripen between mid-August and mid-September when the days are normally still hot and sunny, meaning that maturities will be good. In any case, the yields won’t be big, so there won’t be huge quantities of grapes to ripen.
Everything’s pretty positive right now. Let’s say that we’re generally happy with the evolution of the vines, very happy about the development of each stage and that we’re preparing for perfectly coherent harvest dates. Not early as in 2018 or 2020, but more like 2019 or 2017.”