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The Sun Is Shining in Côte-Rôtie

Stéphane Ogier is waiting to pick to make the most of the current good weather.

Posted: Sep 26, 2008 1:19pm ET

By Stéphane Ogier

Posted by Stéphane Ogier

The vintage has just begun in Côte-Rôtie; the ban des vendanges commenced on the 18th of September. It has been a difficult vintage for the region, with a cool summer and above-average rainfall. If I had written this two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have been so optimistic; it was so depressing seeing all this rain, which at this time is not very welcome. So I prayed, oh man, I prayed, and it seems I have been heard.

After a succession of fine, sunny days with a cool, drying wind from the north, the prospect looks very good. This weather may enable us to seek optimum maturity.

I was told as a young punk that the wine was made in September, and as I have been making wine for the past 10 years, this is definitely true. Last year many people spoke of the dire vintage, but perfect weather in September changed everyone's perspective. It looks like the same story is back this year …

I was also told as a young punk that to make the best you must be the last to pick! It is something I strongly believe, especially this year, and that is why I haven’t picked a grape of Côte-Rôtie yet. I want to profiter au maximum of this great weather and will not commence picking until this coming Monday.

We just started in Condrieu early this week where we picked at a very good maturity: natural sugars around 13 percent with pH 3.5 and very low yields of about 1.8 tons per acre. After whole-bunch pressing, the juice is settling in the cold room for a few days. The juice looks to have good richness with fine acidity, which is what I look to achieve. It will be racked into 500-liter barrels for fermentation to start.

Right now, I am drinking a good Chambolle-Musigny Les Fuées 2004 from Mugnier with my good friend Barney Flanders from Garagiste and Allies wines in Australia. This great wine is helping us enjoy our last free time before the onslaught begins and we are locked in the cellar!

Josh Bergstrom
Portland, Oregon —  September 26, 2008 11:49pm ET
Bon Courage Stephane! I love your wines, keep up the hard work. I look forward to hearing about the vintage in the Rhone valley as it unfolds. I will be toasting my vintage with a few of your bottles for sure!Josh Bergstrom,Bergstrom Winery: Oregon.
Bertrand Mons
London, UK —  September 29, 2008 5:00pm ET
Hi Fanfan,I see you are still enjoying great burgundy as you are drinking Chambolle from Mugnier.I am sure your Top cuv¿ 2008 will be the local Musigny, Bonnes Mares and Amoureuses. Balance is the key. The best bottle is the empty one.Bon courage

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