Tasting unfermented grape juice and giving an informed opinion on the as-yet-unborn wine is close to impossible. However tasting the grapes, the pressed juice, and the partly fermented juice can give indications, some would say!
This is what the vignerons do, giving them the knowledge and information required to oversee and finalise fermentation and pressing the wine.
Some thoughts on the white ’23s
The whites are more homogeneous than the reds. Most, if not all, were harvested before the rain on September 13.
The wines are generous yet fresh, with the alcohol level reasonably low. Most are in the 12.5%-13.5% range.
While in essence 2023 is a warm vintage (thanks, global warming), the wines seem balanced and vivid. I love the energy and freshness I am tasting. They see harmonious at this stage, and my expectations are thus high for the white 2023s.
These are more difficult. In general, the vintage is generous and quite energetic as a starting point. Harmonious as well. However, the rain and resulting issues will no doubt result in a more mixed vintage.
While the rain itself was not a huge problem, add to it the issues with declining acidity, botrytis, and the volatility from the Suzukii flies. It will be diverse red vintage.
The yields are high and could prove excessive. Yields of more than 100 hectolitres/hectare have been seen. While in general high yields could help with freshness, it remains to be seen if the complexity and edge expected from good pinot noir can be maintained with the more traditional 40-45 hl/ha.
Currently, it seems the definition and detail of the fruit are on the more expressive side and “paited” with a wide brush – a bit like 2022 – and this could well be related to yields. I like this, as detail and definition require super cleanliness and purity of the fruit. Not many have this this year.
It’s too early to say anything conclusive about acidity and intensity.
Let’s see what the last part of the vintage brings weather-wise. I’m writings this as the rain starts dripping again on Saturday the 18th.