The 2017 vintage in Beaujolais
After a very heterogeneous and disastrous 2016 vintage for winegrowers who had hailed, 2017 suffered the same fate and often where hail had already struck in 2016 ...
The vine in 2017
At the end of a dry winter, the first days of spring are warm and pruning has barely been completed, the first buds appear 2 to 3 weeks in advance (around March 30).
The cooling that took place in mid-April will last 1 month, disrupting the growth of the vines, in particular in the late sectors which had just budded and which remain almost at the same stage throughout this period.
From May 15th, everything gets better and the rest of spring is ideal for the development of the foliage and the passage of the flower. This took place quickly (7 days against 10 days on average) to end around June 6, almost 3 weeks ahead of 2016.
The sunshine is excellent in June-July and the rains are regular and sufficiently spaced. The sanitary condition of the 2017 vintage is perfect, with few treatments. Unfortunately, the precipitation of July 10 and 30 was catastrophic where it fell in the form of hail.
For the second consecutive year, a large area of the vineyard was affected and following the same corridor. The hail arrived from Lantignié and Régnié then partially passed over Morgon and Chiroubles, and mainly hit Fleurie and Moulin-à-Vent. The affected area is large, around 2,000 ha like last year, but the vines are affected to varying degrees, depending on the topography in particular.
Quality of the 2017 harvest
After a sunny, hot and dry month of August, the vines kept their lead and the harvest ban was set for Monday August 28 for the earliest plots. A heavy downpour of 70 mm fell on August 30 and in most vintages, we wait a few days to let the berries that were in great need of it swell again and thus recover a little more juice.
The first 15 days of September are ideal for the harvest, 12 ° in the morning, 20 ° in the afternoon and very little rain, which allows each plot to be harvested at the best time and without excess stress and the grapes are in perfect sanitary condition.
The plots affected by hail, however, had to undergo a severe sorting in the vineyard and in the cellar to keep only the good ones because the few bunches that were collected on them systematically contained affected parts that had dried out.
The wines of 2017
If the vintage is heterogeneous for all the reasons mentioned above, there are superb wines in all the vintages. They have in common to have more background than the 2016, their concentration is good.
The acidities are generally quite low, and the degrees quite high, which gives charming wines with a very open and ripe fruit.