This very high quality vintage must go down as being amongst one of the very best in the last fifty years. Having said that, it is likely to result in some atypical wines, similar to the fabulous 2009’s.
In the Beaujolais region overall, the harvest began during the last week in August and at Château de Grandmont, we decided to pick the grapes for our Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages Nouveau during the first week in September. The dry and very hot summer months leading up to the harvest meant that bunches of grapes were compact and with relatively low amounts of juice, further concentrating an already ripe vintage. As one would expect, the sugar levels were very high and this meant that the alcoholic degree was is also higher than usual, something that one can do nothing about, as it mother nature who controls these aspects! Picking relatively early, compared to many of our neighbours and friends, meant that we were able to get the grapes into their vats, with a refreshing and balancing level of acidity, which will ensure that the ‘Nouveau’ wines approachable, with a remarkable depth purity of fruit.
In the winery, this was not been an easy vintage to make, as it was vital to avoid over-extraction, as this only results in harder, more tannic characteristics that are not suited to the Nouveau wines. Instead, we have concentrated on making sure that the fermentation times were not too long, as there was no need to extract colour or depth of flavour, as they were already there!
The 2017’s are deep-coloured with an impressive deep purple hue and have an excellent level of rich, ripe fruit. The wonderful thing about them is that, despite the ripeness of the grapes, they managed to keep a natural elegance. Excellent pH levels were seen throughout the vineyards at Château de Grandmont and much of this can be attributed to the on-going conversion into organic production, which will be certified (by Ecocert) for the 2018 vintage. The only downside with this conversion is that it has further reduced the yields in our vineyards, in a year that is already very small in production. This is all part of our march towards growing high quality grapes, which see absolutely no chemical treatments (herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and non-organic fertilisers).
This very special vintage will make some outstanding Beaujolais Nouveau that will appeal to a wide range of consumers. Enjoy and not with too much moderation!
(Winemaker and Consultant Oenologist)