Harvest 2014: Suspense …. and a Happy Ending!
After an uneventful winter in the Champagne region, the vine stirred into life in early spring. Flowering took place in ideal conditions around 10 June. Until late July, vegetation was running around 10 days ahead of the ten-year average, suggesting that the harvest would kick off in early September.
However, the unusually cool and rainy weather in August slowed vegetative growth. Veraison (the start of ripening) started nonetheless, and occurred very gradually over the entire region.
This autumnal-like weather in summer was the cause of some concern for our technical teams. Despite the wet weather, the risk of Botrytis developing was contained, as the temperatures remained cool.
September finally saw a return of the sunny weather, and the large variation between day and night-time temperatures helped the grapes to ripen quickly and well.
The Deutz grape pickers, managed by Vineyard Director, Patrick Boivin, started cutting on 12 September. Harvesting took under two weeks during which time the weather was lovely and sunny.
The grapes were in perfect health, especially the Pinot Noirs and the Chardonnays, and the yields set by the appellation of 10,100 kg / ha were often exceeded, with an average of 12,200 kg / ha.
Cellar Master, Michel Davesne, was delighted with the balances recorded in the juices after pressing, which showed an average of 10.6% vol. potential alcohol and an acidity of 8.2 g / LH 2 SO 4.
Remarkable readings – up to 11.4% vol.- were seen on some Pinot Noir marcs (especially from Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Ay). The Chardonnays (especially from the Côte des Blancs, the main Deutz supply area) were not far behind: the perfect balance of maturity (10.8% vol and 7.8 g / LH 2 SO 4.) looks very promising …
Conditions, therefore, seem to be perfect for the creation of some fabulous vintage “cuvées“. Fabrice Rosset, Chairman and CEO, is excited about the quality, but cautions that only the tastings of the “vins clairs” at the time of blending will confirm the excellence of the vintage.