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Vinparleurs #Vintage Report 2014

I admit it’s a little early to talk about the 2014 vintage. But if you rake around the wineries at this time of the year, tasting some barrels and some tanks, you may set up a slight idea about this vintage’s character. And I can tell you that everything worked out fine, despite the weather was not in the mood in some wine regions. The yeasts did their job transforming all the grapes that were picked into wine. Into good wine in fact…

Millésime 2014

It was a difficult year in Champagne. Freshness and some rainy periods were favouring the development of mildew, compelling alertness and an increased presence in the vineyards. But the team of Champagne Paul Lebrun seems to have done a great job, as the vineyards were in very good shape when I visited them a couple of days before harvest. The was no problem with waiting for optimum ripeness of the grapes and picking started on September 15th in the vineyards of Sézanne and Cramant (6 days after official start of harvest in the region). Fully ripe Chardonnay grapes from the prestigious Clos l’Abbé were picked from Saturday September 20th.

In the Languedoc, the weather gods seemed to be particularly grumpy at the beginning of autumn. Luckily for Pierre Cros, only some of his old Carignan vineyards went through the first wave of heavy rains, while the other grapes were already comfortably fermenting in the cellar. Carignan is a very tough grape variety and the mostly centennial vineyards of Pierre Cros aren’t really impressed by capricious Mediterranean weather. I can already tell some of Pierres 2014-secrets: There are some really EXTRAORDINARY Syrah wines in the cellar, and the old grape varieties he planted in early 2012 (Aramon, Picpoul noir, Ribeyrenc…) have given their first wine…

Same region, same weather at the Domaine de l’Arjolle. It was a tough job to bring the promising harvest before the weather went mad. The entire harvest was carefully sorted and all tanks and barrels fermented without any problems. There is less wine than in other vintages, but what you can pour from the tanks and barrels looks already good. Very good!

Millésime 2014

Malbec is doing great in Cahors! After a very small harvest in 2013, yields returned to normal this year. And quality is great! That great, that Pascal Verhaeghe told me they fermented several tanks at Château du Cèdre without adding sulphur for the first time this vintage! Good news!

Will Gigondas be the king of the Rhône-Valley this year? After early picking of some Grenache and Syrah vineyards, the time of patience and waiting started. Bad weather threatened, but only light rainfalls made it up to the Dentelles de Montmirail during the ripening period. As a result, there are some knockout Gigondas wines in the cellar, with power, elegance and a multifaceted bouquet. According to Yves Gras, the quality of the vintage comes very close to 2012 and 2013…

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Who are you?

Champagne Paul Lebrun

Le Clos l’Abbé

Santa Duc

Château du Cèdre

Pierre Cros

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