Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Jasnières: a thin crop in 2012

Vineyards on the Jasnières coteaux 

Bunch affected by poor flowering 

On Tuesday we had a quick look at some of the vineyards of Jasnières to see how the prospects for the 2012 vintage are shaping up. Although we only really saw in detail the vines on the slope below the Panorama and then some vines overlooking L'Homme, 2012 looks like it will be tiny. It was difficult to find more than two decent bunches on a vine. I'm not sure whether these vineyards were hit by the April frost but certainly poor weather during flowering and mildew had taken their toll. There may also have been some hail damage. If this is repeated throughout the vineyards of Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir the 2012 crop will be very small.      

One of the better bunches – leaves recently sprayed with copper sulphate(?) presumably against mildew  

Bunch again affected by poor flowering 

Poor flowering or the effect of mildew (above and below)

Difficult to find any grapes 

A few more grapes 

Weedkillered vineyards (above and below)

There are a range of vineyard cultures in Jasnières from organic/biodynamic to 100% weedkiller control including the surrounding paths.

Abandoned vines on the Jasnières coteaux

Leaves sprayed with copper sulphate


Mildew on a leaf

 Esca or eutipiose 

From the vine clad hillside towards La Chartre-sur-Loire

Towards L'Homme
Vines above L'Homme

Mon idée – once a bon idée but now abandoned!

The neglected Jasnières panorama 


Luc Charlier said...

The difficulties with languages, Jim ....
Mildiou, mildew, meeldauw, Mehldau, all meaning “moldy rot” but also slightly different forms of it in the various languages. What you show here is, if I’m not mistaken, the “downy mildew”, in all its stages! You have the famous “oil spots” on top of the leaves, very often the first visible manifestation of the disease. You have the reddish-brown decaying of leaves. You have the dessicated bunches as well as the faulty flowered ones. You have the “down-covered” aspect of the hidden half of the leaves. And, finally, you have the copper sulphate spraying indicating the winegrower thought likewise.
Very impressive series of disasters.
Problem is, however dedicated you are, mildew can hit you even if you haven’t done anything wrong. You can spray the vines in the morning, effectively so, get hit by a rain-shower in the afternoon and then “enjoy” a rather warm and calm evening ... only to find your vineyard full of it the next morning.
I’m pretty lucky in that I’ve hardly ever seen mildew on my estate in those first eight years, largely due to the localisation on the top of the slopes, the absence of neighbours, the low density of my bunches (which also has disadvantages, obviously) and the very prudent fertilizers use. But the wonderful Roussillon climate is our best ally. For the same token, very expert and more experienced colleagues can be covered with it just 200 m lower in the valley, in spite of adequate care.
But this year the main problem is the absence of water: the berries are not any bigger than red currants in some locations; they have not all turned black yet (!!!!!), and sometimes already starting to dry out ... As for the yield, not even reaching 11-12 hl/ha, I’m afraid. Puzzling.
I think I’m going to wait and wait, till rain comes ....

Jim Budd said...

Thanks for this Luc.