Just a few days ago we finished pulling in the last of our fruit for 2011. We ended up walking away with fruit that far exceeded our expectations.
In general, sugars are down from 2010 (which was quite the classic vintage in taste and sugars) but the aesthetics of the two are quite similar. Small clusters, intense flavors, lower sugars, balanced acids (a little higher in 2011) and a heap of millerandage. I’m very excited about the fruit for 2011.
Chaptalization will be key for countless domaines this year, and it could result in wines that more people favor. That said, I’m firm in my convictions of not adding anything besides so2 unless there are no other options. In my inexperienced opinion, beautiful flavors, intensity and lower alcohol levels don’t fall in the category of emergency. Hopefully we will make the minimum alcohol requirements for the classifications. If not, you will be seeing some declassified wines before you see chaptalized wines from us.
I will fill in with more details in a week or so. For now, I am finishing out punchdowns which stay at three times total during the span of harvest. Also, my delivery of old barrels came in so I need to get back to work.