Winter was long with regular bouts of snow. The cold weather reached a low of -23°C on the 19th December bringing with it significant ice damage in Colmar’s Hardt area.
Springtime was fresh and bud-burst was slow to take place. The month of June was erratic with flowering occurring late between the 6th and 26th June. Early in the season, temperatures were warm but dropped dramatically to 9°C on the 2nd June. As a consequence of significant leakage, there was millerandage (shot berries) amongst the Gewurztraminer and Riesling, which are usually quite resistant.
Flowering had barely finished when we experienced a heatwave reaching 37°C on the eve of the FIFA World Cup football final.
The month of August was dreary, without high temperatures, which slowed down the process of grape maturity, and despite good degrees of alcohol, acidity levels remained high.
During the month of September, the vineyards enjoyed fresh nights and dry, sunny days. Owing to this, the harvest was delayed, allowing grape acidity to fine down.
The harvest began on the 16th September with the necessary sorting of the grapes in the parcels that had experienced ice.
Picking continued in an easy-going manner over 6 weeks, witnessing large differences from one parcel to another.
For the Crémant, the first days of the harvest gave way to a second malolactic fermentation.
The Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois, picked at close to 12°C, were low in quantity.
The Muscat was virtually nonexistant due to minimal flowering.
The Pinot Gris, however, showing a very fine balance of sugar and acidity, is very successful in years experiencing a later harvest. The sorting executed for the noble rot in Altenbourg and the late harvests were of extremely fine quality.
The Gewurztraminer had low quantities of 20 hl/ha. A sorting of noble rot grapes on the 4th October and another on the 27th were nonetheless, good compensation.
The Riesling with small berries, owing to hazardous climate conditions, have resulted in highly concentrated wines with enormous ageing potential. For some of them, one could say they may age for up to an eternity.
For our estate, this marks the smallest harvest we have known at 25 hl/ha over the entire property.
The wines are vinifying steadily in our cellar, endowed with a lively acidity and the Alsatian advantage of varietal aromatics.
The small quantities resulting from this difficult vintage present us with financial rather than quality-related problems.
Maurice, 1st December 2010