Champagne: vintage 2008

Following the frosts in December, 2008 started under the signs of soft and moist weather. Temperatures in January and February were well above normal and regular rains recharged the groundwater. A more tormented March and April were marked by rather cool temperature conditions, a steady rain, some snow and frost on 8, 16 and April 17 damaging 377 hectares, mainly in the Côte des Blancs.

Bud break is rather late (April 19 for the chardonnay, April 26 for the pinot noir and 27 April for the miller) but with the very forgiving month of May, the vines catch up fast with steady and rapid growth. The moisture encourages the onset of downy and powdery mildew, which are present early in the season but whose attacks are quickly mastered.

At the time of flowering (June 14 for the chardonnay, 16 for the pinot noir and 17 for the meunier), momentarily freezing temperatures, compounded by scarce sunlight, produces 'coulure' (shatter) and 'Millerandage' (berries of varying maturity and size) , which is fortunately partially offset at harvest by the size of the clusters.

The summer weather is very mixed, with thunderstorms in July, a rather cool and unsunny August. The color change begins in early August and, on the eve of harvest, the bunches are in a remarkable state of health.

The harvest begins between 15th and September 15th across sectors. It takes place in ideal weather, ventilated, dry and sunny days, cool nights, removing the risk of botrytis and extremely favorable to the accumulation of sugars in the berries.

The yield is around 14,200 kg / ha on average. The potential degree of musts averaged 9.8% volume, while the total acidity is 8.6 H2SO4g / l.

The exceptional quality of the grapes, balanced sugar / acid perfect musts suggest an excellent vintage

[Source : Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne/Translation FineWineJournal]

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