Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Millésime Bio: sweet Loires rare in 2012
2011 Quarts de Chaume, Grand Cru, Château de Plaisance
None made here in 2012 but the fine and beautifully balanced 2011 makes up for this.
Guy Rochais, Château de Plaisance, with his 2011 Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru
(Unfortunately I misjudged the depth of field required to get clear view of label
so took a close up of the bottle as well)
Had a good day at Millésime Bio yesterday and managed to see quite a number of the Loire producers present at the Salon. Unfortunately as I have to head back to London today I will have to try and catch up with as many of the rest as I can this coming weekend in Angers.
Naturally conversations often turned to discusssing what a pig of year 2012 was weatherwise, although there are some good wines from the vintage, so it shouldn't be written off. Volumes in many places are low to very low. It is clear that very little sweet wine was made in 2012 or should have been made. A number of producers including Patrick Baudouin, Philippe Delesvaux, Pierre Chauvin and Eddy Oosterlinck said that they hadn't made any due to the October downpour.
Philippe Delesvaux: "The sugar content actually went backwards. I had grapes that were at 13% natural when the rains started that had dropped to 9% when the rain eventually stopped." Understandably Philippe decided it was impossible to try to leave the grapes in the hope it might eventually be possible to make any sweet wine in 2012.
A few basic Coteaux du Layon cuvées have been made but will be surprising if anyone has managed to make anything more prestigious where the appellation requires a higher level of natural sugar. Even making a generic Layon may well have required the assistance of additional bagged up sunshine! With the recent Quarts de Chaume décret requiring a minimum of 18% potential it will be amazing if anyone managed make any in 2012.
Fortunately there are some very fine sweet wines from the 2010 and 2011 vintages to enjoy.