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, 7 October 2012

2012 Loire Vintage: small crop in Vouvray even less in Montlouis

 2012: bunches of Chenin in Vouvray (above and below)

Vouvray: bunch with rot being to develop… weather will determine whether it will be grey or noble

We spent a good part of yesterday having a look at the crop in Vouvray and Montlouis, where picking is just beginning. As in many other parts of the Loire 2012 will be a small crop due to frost, difficult flowering, mildew – all an accumulation of adverse factors etc. The crop in Montlouis appears to be smaller than in Vouvray. 

François Chidaine being photographed for a French magazine 

François Chidaine: "Montlouis is the worst. Frost and then too much rain from April to July, poor flowering and mildew. In Montlouis our yields will be 10-15hl/ha, 20 in Vouvray and 30 in Touraine. We started picking today (Saturday) in Montlouis. In AC Touraine we have finished the Sauvignon Blanc and are waiting for the Cabernet and Côt."

Jacky Blot at the Domaine de la Taille aux Loups started picking on Thursday and is equally pessimistic over the yields. "Just 10hl/ha in Montlouis, 20 in Vouvray and maybe 30 in Bourgueil (Domaine de la Butte). There is very little juice in the grapes. I don't expect that we will pick in Bourgueil before the end of next week."  

François Chidaine: bunch of Chenin (Montlouis) 

 François Chidaine: sorting table in the vineyard 

Another load of grapes arriving for sorting

In Vouvray Didier Champalou is impatient to get started. "We will begin of Monday. The potential alcohol is between 12 and 12.5% with a high ph and a lot of tartaric acid in the grapes. Although no two vintages are the same, tasting the grapes I'm reminded of 2008. I estimate that we will make 50% of a normal vintage, so an average yield of around 25hl/ha. The recent rain seems to have evened out the difference in grape maturity, which was previously wide apart."   
Unfortunately the weather forecast is not very favourable this week. We had some rain last evening and more is forecast on Monday and possibly later this evening. With signs of rot beginning to develop in the Chenin, there is a danger that this could develop into grey rot. Fortunately the grape skins are still tough.  

François Chidaine's new chai in Huisseau to be ready for the 2013 vintage  
Just across the road from the present rather cramped premises


I also visited Domaine Huet yesterday and will do a separate post on this. 

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