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

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

2016 Loire Harvest – Muscadet: a complicated year = small volume but hi quality?

Handpicking at Jo Landron: 20th September 

We have just spent just over 24 hours in the Pays Nantais looking at the start of the harvest. As elsewhere in the Loire 2016 is undoubtedly a complicated vintage and volumes will be small here due to a combination of factors – late April frost, heavy rain in late May/early June then severe attacks of mildew plus some unfavourable weather during the flowering followed by drought and high temperatures in July and August. Sadly the ravages of mildew are all too clear when wandering through the vines.

Today Jérôme Choblet (Domaine des Herbauges) told me that 2016 is estimated to be the smallest crop in Muscadet since 1949. Yields were lower in 1991 following the very widespread and severe frost but the area under vines was much higher then. The area of Muscadet has fallen from over 14,000 hectares to a little over 9000. Jérôme also said that around a third of the vineyard will not be picked this year – either because there is nothing there or there is so little that it is not worth harvesting.

Despite the paucity of the crop there are hopes that the remaining grapes will produce wines of high quality with good concentration, although in places acidities may be on the low side. Equally some producers have said that now that the nights are fresh acidity levels are fine.

Tuesday and Wednesday were glorious days weatherwise in the Pays Nantais and the forecast is favourable for the moment, so that producers can take their time. 

Some photos from yesterday and today:

Mildew affected bunch

Small bunch but with concentrated juice?

 Jo Landron confirms that his famous moustache 
has not be affected by mildew
(above and below)

The Gadais family across three generations:
Pierre-Henri, Michael, Christophe

Vincent Caillé in one of the famous Terre de Gneiss parcels 
enthusing about the quality of the soil due to biodynamic methods 

(above and below)

Domaine des Herbauges – fine bunch in 
parcel badly affected by the April frost

Grapes from the Clos des Allées, Domaine Luneau-Papin

Hod carriers – Domaine Luneau-Papin
Marie Luneau with 2016 juice just after it has been 
pressed and before it has had time to settle 
– tasted rich and concentrated


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