The 2023 Harvest

"A pleasantly unexpected vintage!”
Start of harvest – 8th of September 2023

 Year after year, the exceptional is becoming the norm. Fortunately, winegrowers and winemakers of Bourgogne are resilient and know how to adapt to capricious weather conditions, redoubling their attention in the vineyard and their skill in the cellar. This vintage proves it once again. To the great delight of everyone, the harvest was a stunning one, both in terms of quality and quantity, especially for the Chardonnays.

A gentle start to the cycle

Despite a milder winter than usual, budburst was a few days later than average, due to unstable weather until April (with rapidly alternating warmer and cooler-than-normal days). This slight delay meant they dodged the rare spring frosts.

A rollercoaster spring, but a fine crop of emerging grape bunches

À partir du 20 mai, les températures ont augmenté et sont restées au-dessus de la norme saisonnière, encourageant des progrès rapides vers la floraison. Les toutes premières fleurs sont apparues à la fin de mai. La mi- floraison a suivi le 7 juin, annonçant une récolte pour le début de septembre. Dans l’ensemble, les fleurs ont fleuri dans d’excellentes conditions, avec des températures favorables et beaucoup de soleil. Un cocktail estival avec toutes sortes de temps!

July, like June, was relatively unstable, with alternating thunderstorms, temperature peaks of up to 35- 36°C and high humidity. This kind of volatility is conducive to disease, and winegrowers remained vigilant throughout the summer. In early-ripening areas, the first grapes in the veraison stage - when they begin to change colour - were observed between July 11 and July 18, depending on the sector.

Temperatures remained relatively mild, with a fairly wide day/night range, which was very beneficial to the vines.

A hot harvest

The grapes ripened in warm, sunny conditions, allowing a steady build-up of sugar. August, punctuated by rainy spells, enabled the harvest capacity to be maintained, before ending with unseasonably high temperatures and sunshine.

For this reason, many winegrowers decide to pick at night or in the early hours of the morning. This preserves the freshness of the grapes and the quality of the vintage.

Vinification, once it began, filled the cellars with delicious aromas. The fermentations went well and, after a few weeks, it was possible to distinguish the different profiles that began to emerge.

The 2023 Vintage again has a complex flavor profile and the long harvest will show the different profiles in the wines as they age. A vintage with excellent alcohol and average acidity, a vintage that will show its excellence with a medium term aging.

The 2022 Harvest

“2022, a long-awaited vintage!!” 
Start of harvest – 31st August 2022

After a complicated year in 2021, winegrowers are smiling again with the arrival of the 2022 vintage, which is characterized by quality and quantity despite frost, heat waves and drought. But the road towards the harvest was fraught with difficulties. After a milder and drier than normal winter, 2022 began like 2021, with spring frosts. The winegrowers once again had to battle against frost. They feared the worst. Fortunately, at the end of March, on the eve of the frosts, the vineyards were at the stage of bud swelling and thus the development of the vine was a few days later than the average over the last 20 years.

This period of cold weather was quickly followed by mild temperatures which allowed the vines to quickly recover and the fruit-bearing buds to develop. The heterogeneity of the stages and situations seen during this period continued throughout the vine's growth cycle. On May 8th, there was a hail storm that hit a narrow strip of vineyards, with limited damage. The exceptionally warm spring of 2022 was a turning point: the rise in temperature in May gave a boost to the vegetation. Topping and trimming were performed at a frantic pace. Full flowering was observed at the end of May. The conditions were excellent, with little shatter or millerandage. And the result was beautiful! Although the vines were late in March, they were now ten days ahead of the average for the last 20 years. The vintage was shaping up to be an early one. On May 19, the Yonne department was placed under a drought watch.

A new hail storm hit the eastern part of the vineyard on June 19th, without causing too much damage. Then finally, a long-awaited rainfall arrived between June 21st and 25th, with variable accumulations depending on the sector, ranging from 42mm to 88mm in the Chablis area.

A dry spell followed throughout the month of July. The health of the vines was excellent: no rain, no disease! August 10, the Serein valley was designated as a drought crisis area; restrictions on water use were reinforced. The effects of the hot spells on the vines were limited and they withstood the hydric stress rather well. However, vineyards did suffer in shallow or sandy soils. Rain finally fell in mid-August, although the benefits varied according to the millimeters of rainfall.

The Domaine Servin began harvesting early the 31 st August to preserve as much acidity as possible. Small amount of rain fell either in the late afternoon or at night. The foliage, which was still in good health, benefited from it. Thanks to the rain, juice concentration was limited and the bunches of grapes were able to provide a good balance between sugar content and acidity. In the end a perfect balance was achieved and the vintage will go down as an excellent one with both the quality and quantity!!

The 2021 Harvest

“A year of never-ending attention”
Start of Harvest: September 17, 2021

The harvest began around September 20 and quickly terminated 12 days later. The harvest was more than half of a usual one, with some plots losing 70% to 100% and the spring frosts were the main cause of this. Some mornings had temperatures falling at times to -8°C.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were carefully sorted and vinified with precision, with great attention paid to aromatic balance. The tension in the wines, a hallmark of Chablis, is indeed present, having been preserved by rather cool weather. The vintage, then, is historically low in volume, but classic in its profile.

To the very end, 2021 has been a trying year for winemakers. Ever since the April frost, made worse by a too-early start of the growth of the vines, right to harvest time, harsh changes in weather have imposed their tempo: winemakers have had to be constantly attentive and reactive. The only respite was the flowering, which took place under good conditions, and the ripening, which benefited from sun starting in mid-August.

Notwithstanding the loss of volume due to the frost, the grapes must still be meticulously selected, both at the vine and in the winery. The capricious weather in July and early August led to the development of a few disease sites, which fortunately were limited in scope thanks to the efforts of the winemakers and the return of dry weather in August.

It is generally conceded that 2021 required technical expertise: the winemaking must be very precise. Even moving quickly, great attention was made to aromatic balance. In the first tastings, the trends are already clear: the aromatic potential of the must is indeed present, showing fresh citrus notes in the Chablis wines, and the sugar-acid balance is in keeping with typical ones that are appreciated by lovers of Bourgogne wines. A vintage that despite the difficulties has produced some wonderful wines just available in tiny quantities!!

The 2020 Vintage

“The 2020 has the freshness of 2017, and the concentration and the expression of 2019”
Start of harvest – 28th August 2020

2020 will remain in the memory for many reasons. Not only was it the year of lockdowns and pandemic; it was also a unique and very satisfactory vintage for producers in Chablis.
This vintage was an historically early one, from budburst right through to harvest. The hot and sunny weather also ensured the grapes were bursting with health on the vines.
Even more surprisingly, tasting has confirmed that despite the high temperatures and almost constant drought conditions, in addition to their rich aromas, the wines are also revealing a freshness that is as unexpected as it is remarkable.
Everyone is fascinated how the Chardonnay grape is adapting to climate change. How this grape can react on the vine to warmer and drier vintages without losing its sense of place. Despite the heat and dryness, the alcohol levels are normal, the acidity levels are exceptional and the overall balance on the palate means the wines are representative of an excellent vintage for the region.”
We are impressed by the fleshiness in the Premiers Crus and Grands Crus, we are confident enough to extend the wines’ élevage on their lees – adding further tension and flavour complexity to the wine. It is a vintage with great ageing potential in terms of balance and acidic backbone, One could compare it to 2017 or 2012 – two very popular vintages for vignerons in Chablis, where the acidity is classic but there is body too. It is what one calls “a truer expression of Chablis”.
The 2020 has the freshness of 2017, and the concentration and the expression of 2019, a vintage that expresses a superb minerality and freshness with a nice intensity of fruit and especially citrus fruit characters.

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