According to winemaker Jerome Faure-Brac, there wastremendous variability in maturity by parcel in 2016, owing to frost, mildew and grillure. Joseph Drouhin started harvesting on the Cote de Beaune on September 19 with their Meursault Perrieres, “but mostly started two or three days later” and finished some reds on the Cote de Nuits as late as October 11. There was some blockage of maturity for Chardonnay but not for Pinot Noir, he told me. And losses to frost also ranged widely. For example, the estate’s Beaune Clos des Mouches, which has been hit hard by extreme weather events in recent years, was barely touched by frost in ’16 and enjoyed what Faure-Brac described as “a normal maturation.” The estate did more manual picking in 2016, as it would have been very difficult to pick mildewed parcels by machine. “It’s vintage of sacrifice,” he summed up, referring to the careful selection that was required to make good, balanced wines. Potential alcohol levels in the 2016 grapes ranged from 11.8% up to 13% or even a bit higher, according to Faure-Brac, who noted that some of the wines are very ripe owing to the summer heat. “Some cuvees are fresher than others,” he told me. “In general, the ‘16s had higher acidity at the beginning than the ‘15s, but more of it was malic and thus there was an important drop in acidity during the malolactic fermentations even if the pHs are healthy.” Faure-Brac finds the 2016 whites “pretty classic,” but noted that some of the ’16 reds are showing a dip in the middle palate.