by Paige Donner
(translated from French)
Roland Masse : « For both reds and the whites, the balance between sugar/acid is excellent. There’s a relative consistency among the whites, with good maturity and an aromatic freshness thanks to the natural acid. The reds are less consistent, and some suffered from the grail storm in July. We have, nonetheless, great hope for the quality of our cuvees from Côte de Nuits, the Colline de Corton and also Monthélie, all of which are exhibiting a marked potential for aging. »
– Press Conference, Hospices de Beaune, Christie’s Auction House, Paris Oct. 29th 2013
Burgundy Wines 2013 – In The Eyes of Roland Masse, Director of the Hospices de Beaune Vineyards and Cellars
Burgundy’s 2013 pinot noirs will have the distinction of a rare wine. The Autumn-like weather we had in the Spring and the grail we saw in July served to ravage many of the vineyards in the Côte de Beaune.
The Côte de Nuit and the Colline de Corton escaped much of this climactic perturbation and will offer us their elegant ruby gems this year as is customary for Bourgogne Grand Crus even in difficult years.
The late harvest, started at the beginning of October, will give us reds that are both tannic and « tonic ». In general, 2013 is a year that varied significantly throughout Burgundy, weather-wise and this will be evidenced in the respective harvests from each of the Climats.
For the whites, the harvest was still a light one (30hl/ha) even though these vineyards were less affected by the capriciousness of the weather.
The one constant for the 2013 whites is their freshness, a taste profile that is associated with a solid maturity for Chardonnays.
In sum : 2013 is a rare and precious vintage.
Burgundy Wines 2013
As Seen By Anthony Hanson, Master of Wine, Senior Consultant to Christie’s
2013 is as promising a vintage for the Burgundy reds as for the whites.
The growing season for the vines this year played out delicately, as if in a stage play, but the vineyard managers and cellar masters of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune superbly defied the forces of nature.
April and May were wet months with little sun which put floraison late into the end of June. Great care was taken to prevent the setting in of mildew. In July, the sun appeared unabashedly, bringing with it warm temperatures and hours of sunlight that exceeded averages in recent years. Rain was limited to four storms, one of which, that of July 23rd, when it hailed, damaged some of the vines. Vineyards that were affected were those of Beaune and Pommard as well as some of the neighboring villages to the north and south. By July, the vines had recovered to their normal growing cycles. In August and September the sun exposure stayed average and rain was only occasional which allowed for favorable maturation of the grapes.
For 2013, 43 Cuvées will be sold at the Hospices de Beaune auction. 30 Cuvées of red and 13 Cuvées of white wines. Of the 443 items for auction, 333 are of red wines and 110 are of white wines.
About 85% of the Hospices vineyards are classed as Premier Cru and Grand Cru which is an exceptionally high proportion. At the time of this writing, fermentation is still underway and so it is too early to comment on the style of the 2013 vintage. Nonetheless, after seeing the quality of the harvest on the sorting tables, it is sure that we will have excellent wines this year, intensely fresh and fruity, and a silky texture.
– Christie’s Auction House, Beverly Bueninck, Communications Attaché