The time has come to take stock of the situation in the vineyards and the disparity is becoming more and more apparent. While some appellations, including Champagne, are already looking forward to the promises of the quality of the 2018 vintage, others are suffering the consequences of complicated weather.
In the far north of France, the winegrowers put away the pruning shears and show great satisfaction for these 2018 harvests. A " A first impression of excellence » for the Burgundy Wine Union," an exceptional year "in Champagne," an exceptional vintage » in the Loire Valley: the professionals in the sector are unanimously enthusiastic
The climate of 2018 allowed the grapes to ripen healthily during the summer with a sufficient water reserve. The indicators are therefore all green: Acidity, alcoholic degree and aromatic potential promise excellent wines. Despite some outbreaks of mildew," the grapes are healthy, we have a good quality and a good quantity ", confides Brice Le Claire, oenologist in the Muscadet.
According to Charlie Grosman, assistant oenologist to the cellar manager for the Bruno Paillard house in Reims, "chis harvest will allow Champagne winegrowers to make not only vintage vintages but also to build up a qualitative reserve for future blends ».
The heat has marked the harvest in Côtes du RhôneThis year, again bringing forward the harvest period by a few days. As a result of the high temperatures, acidity has dropped sharply in some areas. However, with overall volumes on the rise and good alcoholic degrees, many Côtes du Rhône winegrowers are hoping to produce a very good 2018 vintage.
In Languedoc-Roussillon, mildew marked the 2018 edition:" It is a special vintage because it has rained a lot and often, so we have faced a permanent humidity. ", it is explained to the SRDV (Société de Recherche et de Développement Viticole). An assessment that is not always shared and confirms the great overall disparity of the French vineyard. Carmen Etcheverry, oenologist on the family estate in Roussillon, for example, says:" For the Syrah, it's a very nice year. We had water, yields will be good, the grapes are ripe and healthy. We are generally satisfied. »
Less fortunate, the winegrowers of the southwest expect a few difficult weeks in the cellars. « There are sometimes problems with the accumulation of degrees and the acidity is very low ", explains Marianne Gosset, consultant oenologist at Vivélys. « Fermentation is complicated and we are waiting to evaluate the impacts at the aromatic level ».
The situation is also very heterogeneous in the Bordeaux region. The famous Gironde vineyard had difficulty starting the season: the storms of 26 May and 15 July destroyed a large part of the vineyard before mildew severely attacked the grapes:" we literally suffered an explosion of mildew: the young leaves were already stained and the bunches were affected even before the foliage "confides Pierrick Combes, consulting oenologist in the Bordeaux region, who nevertheless concludes," the grapes we bring in are beautiful and finally healthy. There will be few, but it will be good. ».
Manon Mouly for Les Grappes