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

Thursday, 17 September 2015

2015 Loire: lucky if you have Sauvignon! – Vincent Roussley + Thierry Delaunay

 Epeigné-les-Bois: torrential rain this morning  
rapidly turning the local road into a river

 Water gushing as it heads downhill

The story of the 2015 Loire vintage may prove to be divided between those who were able to harvest all or the bulk of their wines before the last five days of heavy rain starting Sunday and those with later ripening varieties, especially Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, had to wait and so have been hit with a very wet few days. 

Catherine Roussel (Clos Roche Blanche but now retired) told me that their successor Julien had started picking the Sauvignon en famile on 30th August. Catherine has enjoyed picking this year without the responsibilty of having to organise the pickers etc. All of the Sauvignon has now been picking – the yields reduced by coulure in June during the flowering. With the recent downpours Catherine is expecting a great crop of mushrooms. 

In Angé Vincent Roussely has also finished all of his Sauvignon, except for the small parcel left for the sweet wine Cuvée Libertine. He has yet to start on the reds – that will start on Saturday with friends picking Gamay and Pineau d'Aunis. 

Just down the road in Pouillé Thierry Delaunay told me that they started picking Sauvignon on Friday 4th September and finished the final parcel last Tuesday – after the weather broke last weekend but before the heaviest rain of yesterday and this morning. The Sauvignon has come in at between 12.7% and 13% alc – acidity is between 3.8 and 4.2, so relatively low. Thierry has reduced the amount of skin contact this year by half – 20% of the total against the normal 40% in order to keep acidity. Yields are down this year – around 49 hl/ha due to coulure at the flowering in June and also probably due to the heat and drought in the summer.   

They have picked Gamay last week and today to make Rosé.    

 Rain gauge @Vincent Roussley showing 45 mm since Sunday

 A few, well separated bunches of Sauvignon Blanc left for Cuvée Libertine 
– Vincent Roussely's 's sweet wine cuvée 
(above and below)

 Vincent making sure ther Libertine-destined 
bunches are well aerated

 Vincent Roussely – if he looks tired it is partly the harvest but 
also he has just become a father for the second time 
– a daughter just before the start of the harvest
 Domaine Joël Delaunay – free run juice for Gamay Rosé

 New offices @Domaine Joël Delaunay, Pouillé

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