Climatic conditions in 2014 were complex to say the least : a mild rainy winter causing early bud burst (damaging for chardonnay in case of late frosts) followed by a dry spring (a blessing for chardonnay!) offering plants protection from diseases. But a miserable summer with cold mornings and heavy rainfall made us fear the worst. Late ripening, risk of diseases...
In late August many were wondering what we would have to harvest.
Then September turned out to be dry and sunny, ideal for a good ripening of grapes.
This climatic roller coaster put many a vinegrower on edge. In an admittedly already tense economic climate, morale was beginning to be at a low ebb with some.
Yet, without going back to the Flood, such a situation had already been encountered, in 2008 for instance. In 2014, as in 2008, nature finally put things right.
One more reason to trust nature, draw on experience and... keep calm.
On our estate we were fortunate to take in a good harvest, especially on the Côte des Blancs, with a high yield permitting to sort grapes on the spot.
2014 turned out to be one of high experience-building value with varieties easily identified through their natural characteristics, giving distinctive clear wines.
We did right in waiting before harvesting chardonnays. As we have plots in all aspects of our Cramant terroir (like the rather northerly « Les Porgeons » or the lower hillside « Les Buzons » to name only two) our wines will acquire more expression and complexity. Long in the mouth, rich in sugar, these chardonnays with their minerality, finesse and elegance are typical of Cramant's « flint » character.
Body is the hallmark of pinots noirs and so are their black fruit aromas.
Pinots meuniers are aerial, fruity, with good vinosity.ideal for blending.
We had to vinify precisely and derived great pleasure in « working » on such a great raw material whose quality should logically find its way into the blends.
The clear wines we have obtained are open, expressive and offer the promise of fine champagnes.
We just can't wait for the sparkle to rise in the bottle to confirm these early impressions.