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09.2014

Massachusetts Beverage Business

OnWineReport

CHAMPAGNE 2O12 AN EXCEPTIONAL VINTAGE

Champagne lovers rejoice! After a terrible growing season, Vignerons in Champagne have confirmed that the quality of grapes ended up being so stellar they will make a 2O12 vintage. This is a turnaround from last summer when April frosts, hailstorms and one of the wettest summers on record were all combining to create one of the worst growing seasons the winemakers had seen for decades. However, the warm weather in August was a saving grace. As harvest grew closer it became apparent that the small amounts of grapes on the vines were of excellent quality. In September as grapes were picked and pressed, often at close to 11% alcohol, winemakers were amazed by the concentration of flavor, natural sugar and acidity, and talk of a potential vintage began to spread. Now the winemakers are highly optimistic for the quality of the vintage. “The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,” Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy told decanter.com. Benoit Tarlant of Champagne Tarlant said the quality of all three grape varieties was “excellent – something which is extremely rare.” He added that he would make less non-vintage this year. “It would be a pity not to make a decent amount of vintage wine, even if it means we have a little less of our non-vintage cuvée.” The harvest average in 2O12 was just under 9OOOkg/hectare – significantly lower than the maximum allowance of 11,OOOkg/hectare.

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