Monday, 29 September 2014
Fred Niger@Domaine des Amphores, Pays Nantais
Fred and his growing family of amphores
including the two newest acquisitions just to his right
On Thursday afternoon, after we left the Luneau family, we dropped in on neighbouring Frédéric Niger Van Herck @Domaine des Amphores (autrefois Domaine de l'Ecu). Like the Luneaus, Fred was very happy with the 2014 vintage. After two weeks of harvesting he had finished the whites yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 23rd September). The yield has averaged 40 hl/ha with potential alcohols in the Melon of up to 12.5% at the end – with an average of 12% and 5.5 acidity. The Chardonnay (13.5% – 5.5 acidity) and the Pinot Noir has also been picked. Now Fred is waiting for the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen.
As elsewhere in the Loire a warm dry September has transformed prospects after a wet and cool August. Around Friday 19th Fred was worried by a very dark sky but the storm fortunately passed them by. Elsewhere in the Loire hail storms at this time caused heart-breaking late damage to some very unfortunate producers like Corinne Laurent in Saint-Pourçain.
As well as tasting some of the fermenting 2014s, I also tasted the interestingly rustic 2013 Egiodola. This variety was originally developed in France's South West but Fred has a parcel close to the winery.
Reaching for 2014 Chardonnay – seven days of maceration
(above and below)
2014 Chardonnay – Fred amphoric!