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Dancing on Burgundy's Côte d'Or

Jeremy Seysses had his pickers dancing to the eighties at the end of harvest party in Burgundy.

Posted: Oct 8, 2008 5:42pm ET

By Jeremy Seysses

Posted by Jeremy Seysses

Thursday, Oct. 2

Carrying on with the négoce parcels, Lilian's team harvested in Puligny-Montrachet this morning, in the lieu-dit Petites Nosroyes. Meanwhile, Alec began the Gevrey-Chambertin with the Justice and the Champs-Chenys. In the afternoon, they carried on in Gevrey as well as Chambolle-Musigny.

We had two press loads' worth of Puligny. They were healthy and ripe, 13 percent potential alcohol and a pH just over 3. In this situation, we like crushing the grapes before pressing them. As we are only a small white wine operation, this is something we do by foot. The Puligny will then be allowed to settle in the tank until tomorrow and then put into barrel.

While the dry weather continues, it's been very cold and we are working on heating up the winery. We are not terribly well-equipped for this and are relying on gas heaters, which are fine until the carbon dioxide builds up. By then, however, fermentation should be generating plenty of heat.

Friday, Oct. 3

We picked some of our own whites this morning, the Morey St.-Denis premier cru "Les Monts Luisants." In our case, this is 100 percent Chardonnay, whereas our neighbor Domaine Ponsot has historically been a blend of Aligoté, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. Laurent Ponsot told me not too long ago that he had pulled all but the Aligoté a few years ago as he thought it to be the best reflection of his terroir.

I'm not unhappy with my Chardonnay grapes, which were looking truly beautiful this morning. The Monts Luisants climat ranges from a portion of Clos de la Roche to all the way up the hill where it is villages. It's a little confusing having a climat overlapping three levels of appellation. I don't know the villages portion terribly well, but we own both some of the premier cru and grand cru sections and they are among our steepest vineyards, with excellent drainage. Our whites were perfectly healthy, nice and gold, and are showing really terrific balance at this stage, but of course, it is still early.

Following the white grapes, the team finished the Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny for Dujac Fils & Père. Picking finished at 4 p.m.. At 5 p.m., a storm broke and we had 10 minutes of heavy rain, which made us feel pretty good about ourselves and our timing. In truth, it did not amount to much water, but it's nice to have your grapes and pickers nice and dry when you see that happen. Although actually, not all of our grapes are in. I am leaving the Bourgogne Blanc and Morey St.-Denis Village Blanc to hang a little longer, until Tuesday. They were still healthy and looked to me as if they could use a little more time. I will only take a half-day to pick them and they are forecasting some sunshine (and a bit more rain) between now and Tuesday.

We began punching down the cap in the tanks from the first vineyards we brought in. The beginning of fermentation was slow because the grapes were so cold, but it now seems to have begun. The rest of the winery should soon follow.

Saturday, Oct. 4

More punching down. The temperatures are slowly beginning to rise, though we are deciding to help some of the tanks, which are still a little cold.

Tonight was the end of harvest party with all the pickers. The menu was:

Apéritif with 2005 Bourgogne Blanc

Smoked Salmon with 2000 Morey St.-Denis premier cru "Les Monts Luisants "

Roasted leg of lamb and gratin dauphinoise with 1994 Clos de la Roche methuselah

Cheese and 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin Dujac Fils & Père

Flourless chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream

This was followed by uncoordinated dancing to '80s music, beginning with the theme from Ghostbusters: "Who you gonna call?!?" I was on punch-down duty so I did not get to wow the mesmerized audience with my special disco moves.

My next installment should begin to give some insight into this year's wines.

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