Hello everyone. We are finally nearing shipment of our 2009s!!! Sure, I’m a bit sad to have my first vintage not be under my protective watch for the first time since buying the grapes in 2009. I knew, even back then while in disbelief while surveying the vineyards that these grapes were going to change my life. Not only did I learn much more about wine than I thought possible just a few years earlier, but I grew in a lot of ways and found parts of myself that I needed to adjust if I was going to do the best I could for these grapes.
During harvest, I spent day and night looking at the barrels, smelling the gasses in the air of the chilly cuverie. I’d drive from Beaune to Saint Aubin where I was renting a tiny section of a warehouse to do my fermentations just to have my lunch by the barrels. Every new smell, sound and nuance was a miracle. I had faith in the terroir, of course. But, it was always a shock to say it was ‘my wine’ that I was protecting. Long story (cut short here, will be fleshed out in the book), but one of the fellows I was renting the space from had grown worried about sharing space and threatened the toss my barrels out of the cuverie and empty them in the streets. He stopped liking me after seeing my appellation and an extreme difference in philosophy. He called me a coward for my lack of oak and extraction. His partner, who I admire to this day provided a calming voice of reason and we dodged a bullet, so to speak. The need to move however was evident,so we needed to act…and quickly!
Once we found a home in Nuits-Saint-Georges, I felt as though I was free from a great threat. Finally I would be able to care for and look after my wines privately. Moving the barrels from the warehouse was easy thanks to folklifts and the high ceiling of the cuverie in Saint Aubin. However, my cave in Nuits-Saint-Georges posed a different problem, stairs. I decided quickly that I didn’t want to pump out the wines at the top of the stairs to transfer them to another empty barrel already resting in the cave. Traditionally, you would connect a rope into a set of two hooks at the top of the stairs. This rope would be wrapped around the full barrel and then shimmied down the stairs by two men below and two men above the barrel. This didn’t sound like a safe option.
I decided to have an empty, resting barrel inside of the cave. The full barrel was at the top of the stairs. I used a food-grade silicon tube to transfer the wine using gravity. It took around 3 minutes for each barrel to fill. 11 barrels were finally filled and stayed inside the cave until they were bottled in April of 2011. Looking at the bottles always excited me. Each time passing them, the memories of my first harvest in Burgundy would play out in front of me as if I was watching it for the first time.
Now, with only a couple of weeks (2 or so) away from shipping our 2009s, I am both excited and a bit sad to see them leaving. Thankfully, many of you will now be able to share these bottles and experiences with each other.
Thank you again for all of you that have been patient, supportive and enthusiastic during this first chapter of our journey.