Wednesday, 26 September 2012
2012 Loire: Muscadet – small crop but potentially good
2012: a typical small bunch giving little but concentrated juice
Vincent Caillé (Domaine de Faye d'Homme) with the deeply coloured Melon de Bourgogne juice
The Pays Nantais is another part of the Loire, which has a decidedly small crop with yields varying between a tiny 7/8 hectolitres per hectare to a maximum of 50 hl/ha. This upper limit would appear to be rare, so far of the people we have seen it is mainly between 15-30 hl/ha. However. the small harvest is looking good with the grapes of good quality, no sign of rot and potential alcohol levels of between 12% and 12.5% with some heading up to 13% – remarkably high for Melon de Bourgogne. The acidity is around 5 g/l making the juice well balanced, although the malic acids are high in places.
From the beginning of August through to 20th September it has been very dry. However, the pattern has now changed with the weather coming from the Atlantic and there has been some rain since Friday. This will increase yields a little giving the grapes more juice, so easier to press and probably reducing acidity.
Examples of Melon de Bourgogne in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (above and below)
Small aerated bunches
A trailer load@Joseph Landron – not destemming this year going straight into the press
Pickers@Jo Landron (above and below)
plus hod carriers
Jo's moustache is considerably more luxuriant than the crop of grapes
Le Chef de Culture@Grand Mouton
Marie-Luce and Jean-François Métaireau
Picking machine@Grand Mouton
Combination of machine and hand picking here
Picker@Grand Mouton with threatening sky
Christophe and Michel Gadais in their vines@Saint-Fiacre
The new vertical press@Vincent Caillé will see little use this year!
...you need to be a dreamer