There’s an Indian summer going on in New York these days. It’s officially fall but we’ve got balmy 80-plus degree weather today and more on the way. That helps make the gridlock caused by the United Nations General Assembly a little more bearable. Meanwhile, Rhône vignerons are also enjoying a terrific September as they harvest their grapes (most aren't finished yet), and I’ve heard from several of them …
In the South, Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel and Perrin & Fils tells me they have a few more days of picking Grenache within Châteauneuf-du-Pape before moving on to the late-ripening Mourvèdre and Counoise next week. They are finished picking in Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Côtes du Rhône, etc.
“We had [three-quarters of an inch] of rain last week and then sun and wind,” said Perrin. “It is an Indian summer after an already great summer in the Southern Rhône. Colors are fantastic and [potential alcohol] degrees quite high.”
“It’s too early to be definitive,” cautioned Laurent Charvin of Domaine Charvin, but he was also enthusiastic about the sunny and dry conditions the region has been experiencing since the middle of June. “The weather is incredible."
In the north the season wasn’t as smooth sailing, with a wild hailstorm that hit Côte-Rôtie. June and July were up and down with irregular temperatures and intermittent rains (growers told me they were spraying far more than usual this year to fend off any spread of rot). But now vignerons are considering themselves lucky for the weather they received in September.
Jean-Michel Gerin of Côte-Rôtie told me that yields are down (to be expected after the hail storm) and that the dry, warm September helped concentrate the grapes. He reported 13 degrees potential alcohol in most of the parcels that he farms, and up to 15 degrees in the prime La Landonne parcel.
Northern Rhône whites look strong right now. “The maturity is very good with 14.5 [potential alcohol] in whites,” says Paul Amsellem of Domaine Georges Vernay in Condrieu. “We had only one day of 5mm rain last week. We are lucky.”
It’s still early of course, and vignerons are as optimistic about harvests as we are about our football and baseball teams on opening day. But here’s hoping the Indian summer holds, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — September 26, 2007 11:40am ET
James Molesworth — September 26, 2007 12:10pm ET
Jean-philippe Baril — Montreal — September 26, 2007 1:18pm ET
Anacleto Ludovic — paris france — September 26, 2007 1:47pm ET
James Molesworth — September 26, 2007 2:19pm ET
Eric Yates — Geneve, Switzerland — September 27, 2007 12:26pm ET
James Molesworth — September 27, 2007 12:37pm ET
Kevin Lewis — Baltimore,MD — September 27, 2007 7:50pm ET
Andrew Miner — September 28, 2007 9:09am ET
James Molesworth — September 28, 2007 9:25am ET
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