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, 10 October 2012

2012 Loire: weather continues to flay producers

Driving between Doué-la-Fontaine and Brissac-Quincé: late Monday afternoon

Vignerons in most parts of the Loire must think that the weather has been subcontracted (privatised?) to a particularly malicious devil, who has delighted in tormenting them but sending entirely inappropriate weather. For instance after a prolonged dry period between late July and around 20th September, the weather has now turned very unstable with rain on Saturday, overnight on Sunday to Monday, heavy rain late Monday afternoon followed by frequent and sometimes heavy showers on Tuesday. To make matters worst it is very warm and humid with temperatures still around 19˚C late on Tuesday evening.  

   Mousseron on the edge of an Aubance vineyard

This is great news for mushroom lovers with all kinds of fungi growing in great profusion this week both in the vineyards and their surroundings. No good news for the grapes as conditions that are ideal for mushrooms are also ideal for grey rot, which is now starting to appear. For the moment the Cabernet seems to be resisting well but rot in the Chenin Blanc is becoming increasingly evident. 

 Vineyards between Mozé-sur-Louet and Brissac-Quincé: Cabernet – still largely rot free

Not so Chenin Blanc: in same vineyard – some good bunches but also some well affected by grey rot (below)

Producers will be hoping that this wet, humid period is shortlived and that there will be sunshine, wind from the east and cooler temperatures. Sadly the devil in charge of the 2012 weather is unlikely to be so obliging!  

Hitherto the 2012 grape juice has been very clean and pure but with the onset of rot will this continue?

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