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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, 27 September 2015

#2015Loire: Another very good vintage in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé

2015 Sauvignon Blanc in Sancerre – between Bué and Amigny

Despite rain during the week starting 13th September, 2015 is another very good vintage quality-wise for Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé following on from the fine 2014. Yields are lower than last year, which was generous. The lower yields are ascribed to coulure during the flowering and to the heat of June and July. 

It may also be down to the vines compensating for last year's big harvest. Nobody appears to have made the maximum yield allowed (65 hl/ha) with reported yields ranging from around 45ha/hl to 60hl/ha, so it is strange that the commune of Verdigny asked for special permission to increase the yield this year. Their request was turned down by the Syndicat of Producers. 

Yields for Pinot Noir are certainly lower perhaps averaging around 35-40 hl/ha but it is difficult to tell precisely until the juice has been run off the skins (décuvage). I was told that the Burgundians have found this year that their red yields of are considerably lower than they had thought.     

Picking in Sancerre started during the latter part of the week beginning Monday 7th September. The Ban des Vendanges was on Wednesday 9th.

Many had already finished picking when we arrived last Thursday including Vincent Pinard, Alphone Mellot (finished in Sancerre – now picking in the Côtes de la Charité), François Crochet and Thierry Véron (Chavignol). Others including Mathieu Delaporte (Domaine Vincent Delaporte) were due to finish Friday, while some estates like Domaine Vacheron and Lucien Crochet will finish Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday this coming week. I imagine that by Friday 2nd October the 2015 harvest will effectively be over.

Of the producers I saw Pascal Joulin (Domaine Michel Vattan, Maimbray) was the least advanced. Pascal had started on Monday 21st and by the end of the week was about a third of the way through. When I saw him on Friday he was keen to push on as it was misty and humid with the temperature on Thursday night not dropping below 13˚C. However, now that the wind has turned away from the West to the North East and the sun has come out he should be less worried.            

Very clean bunches of Sauvignon Blanc 

Picking the grapes above – I just got there in time!

Bunches of Pinot Noir at the very 
top of the Clos de la Poussie
with no sign of rot. 

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