With my first harvest in Burgundy behind me, I’m currently looking ahead to 2010. As well as things went in 2009, there are many areas for improvement, mistakes to learn from, and shifts which are in the development stage.
Starting in January 2010, the facility in Nuits Saint George will be ready for holding my 2009 barrels. I’ll begin preparation of the cuverie area for harvest 2010 in January as well.
As for barrels, I’m planning on using a bit less new oak. For 2009, around 30% of my oak was new. I will be dropping my target number to 15% (possibly 0%) moving forward, while allowing for small changes based upon production numbers and vintage profiles. Obviously, a 2.5 barrel production wine such as Le Chambertin will be impossible to fit in this box.
The plan is to purchase a small amount of new barrels each year, and placing other old barrels which were purchased used out of commission when possible. Eventually, all of the used barrels in use would have been purchased new by Maison Ilan at some point. This is a big deal when used barrels are purchased without knowing 100% the full history of the barrel.
Also, I will be moving toward using all open top wooden fermenters. The stainless steel tanks will be phased out. My thoughts are based on the goal of having uniform fermentation vessels. The possible benefits (aromatics, longer fermentation times, less heat retention) to using this more traditional vessel outweigh the ease of use benefits of stainless steel, for my intended uses.
I’ve been thinking about winery choices quite a bit lately. With such a terroir based region, I have been trying to furthering the intention of treating each lot the same. The goal is to have the difference of the terroir be highlighted, instead of differences in oak selection such as oak age, cooperage, toast levels, pigeage regime, maceration targets, etc. With the differences in production numbers, having percentage of new oak used is (and has been) the difficult issue. The only ways to match the numbers is to go 100% or 0% (the latter is a strong option) new oak on everything across the board. I can’t see either as feasible at present.
In January, I plan to do make a choice on who to use as my sole Cooper (producer of barrels). I am leaning towards François Freres at the moment, however I am considering staying with Chassin.
My sorting table will again consist of a huge piece of laminate-topped wood. I am also on the hunt for an old wooden vertical press similar to the model I used for 2009.
More updates to follow.
Thanks again for viewing.