The 2016 Vintage: A Succession Of Climatic Incidents
2016 will go down as a milestone year with a succession of unprecedented climatic incidents, but with a happy ending: wine quality is hand in hand with superior volume estimates!
In Chablis, 2016 will forever be engraved in people’s memories. The old-timers say they have never experienced such a succession of climatic incidents. Even if, in this northern vineyard, professionals typically expect these types of hazards, their frequency and breadth this year were unprecedented. However, a few months after the harvest, the vineyard has caught its breath: volumes, although decreased, are higher than expected and, above all, the quality is there!
Even if the quantity of grapes harvested didn’t come close to the maximum, the actual volume reached values above the first estimates, with 209 258 hL, which is 63% of the production potential (330 000 hL). This is reassuring news for professionals and lovers of Chablis wines.
Thus, thanks to everyone’s work and to a benevolent summer, Chablis wound up with a Happy Ending, as Christophe Tupinier summed it up in the magazine Bourgogne Aujourd’hui. He describes "a vineyard shattered by spring storms, put back on track by a beautiful summer. At harvest, the quality is good, it is the quantity that is lacking. "
The VCI, Volume Complémentaire Individuel, fully played its role this year. It partially mitigates the losses of a crop that was eventually reduced by half in 2016.
2017 vintage in Bourgogne
- On the vinification side, the fermentations went well.
Today, wines are showing notes of white fruit, apple, pear and citrus fruits. The mouth feel is supple but retains freshness; it expresses itself with a touch of finesse. The ageing process is beginning. It will be important.
For this 2016 vintage, more than ever, each winegrower’s blood, sweat, and tears are inextricably in their wines, testament to the trials of a very special year.