A fine end to the summer and ideal weather conditions at the close of the season have put a smile back on the faces of the Loire winegrowers, who have had to deal with a complex array of weather patterns throughout the year. This vintage is set to be flavoursome and fruit-driven, with good balance.
MELON DE BOURGOGNE – fresh and full of flavour
Harvesting for Muscadet started on September 15th. Vines were badly affected by both frost and hydric stress this year; however September's perfect weather conditions ensured grapes are high in quality and in perfect health. Initial tastings show a range of concentrated, flavoursome, fresh wines. The Melon de Bourgogne grapes show excellent balance, leading us to expect wines similar to those of 2009 and 2010 - good texture and mouthfeel, and plenty of fruit.
SAUVIGNON - concentrated grapes and good aromatic expression.
In Loir-et-Cher, the Sauvignons are concentrated and show excellent aromatic expression. Good grape health combined with harvest weather conditions.The aromatic profile of the musts focuses primarily on citrus and tropical fruit, reflecting Sauvignon’s thiol-based typicity.
CHENIN, DRY AND SWEET - a noteworthy success
All agree that the high quality of this vintage needs to be emphasised. Apart from parcels affected by frost, this year's Chenin harvests have given us both quality and quantity - thanks in no small part to the Indian summer which helped the grapes achieve peak ripeness. Colours and aromas are looking particularly attractive.
LOIRE SPARKLERS – Well-balanced base wines
Chardonnay and Chenin - September's excellent weather meant that growers were in no hurry to harvest, and were able to wait for grapes to reach peak ripeness before starting off their base wines.Base wines are fresh and well balanced, showing notes of citrus.
CABERNET FRANC - elegantly distinctive
The end of the season brought weather we had never even dreamed of, taking grapes to peak levels of ripeness for the Loire Valley and giving a high quality harvest. Tastings of the first juices confirm good extraction with supple fruit and a touch of elegance.
GAMAY- excellent ripeness
To the east of Touraine, the Gamay grapes ripened well in the warm September sunshine. The fruit is beautifully fresh, and shows a lovely fuchsia-purple colour. The new wines are set to be a great success.
GROLLEAU - focusing on fruit
The Grolleau juices have reached fermentation stage without encountering any particular problems. Focus is on highlighting the fruity flavours using a process of débourbage.