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Olivier Berstein 2018: Ripe, rich, and yet fresh!

Date of Published: 31st March 2020

'The winter of 2018 is cold, late and long. It started a month late and continues with some snowflakes  that fell in early April. Despite the vigorous February cold and the negative temperatures in March,  the vine wakes up quickly from its winter dormancy. I observe the first signs of bud burst on April 12,  which is one week late compared to 2017. This trend is reversed with the arrival of a mild spring, with  summer temperatures. The vegetation grows at a blazing speed, Richard and our team work  tirelessly in the vineyards to de-bud and raise the growing vines. 

The heat combined with the humidity causes a strong pressure of disease, mildew in particular. The  application of treatments is orchestrated with accuracy and allows us to minimize the fungus. Luckily  the North Wind helps us in our fight by drying and sanitizing the foliage. 

The clusters appear and at the end of May, the flower buds open giving an intoxicating fragrance on  the Côte de Nuits. The berries grow visibly while a heat wave rages for one month of the grape  harvest. Temperatures rise to 39° C but the vine resists well by drawing the water stored in the soil  during the winter. 

The berries are a beautiful colour and the concentration of sugar in the juice increases rapidly. The  2018 vintage is hot and early, I decide to set the date of the harvest to September 1st to maintain  the acidity of the grapes and a nice freshness for the future wine. 

The first bunches that arrive in our vat room are those of our plot of Mazis-Chambertin. The fine  maturities allow us to vinify with 80% whole grapes for a short vatting time that does not exceed 18  days. All vintages are vintners vintages, but I think 2018 is also a winemakers vintage. It was  necessary to make the right choices to preserve equilibrium. 

The result after a small year is quite fascinating: mature, rich and fresh at the same time. The decision  to harvest early and the choices in winemaking have borne beautiful fruit, the wines have explosive  noses from small red berries and an impressive balance in the mouth.'