The year began with a very mild winter, very wet and with very little sunshine. At the end of March, the cumulative rainfall surpassed 2 months of average rainfall and sunshine levels were down 20% compared to a normal seasonal.
Vine bud takes place April 6 for the chardonnay, April 13 for the pinot noir and April 8 for Meunier. Wet weather and little sun, marked by a few frosts (13/14 and 19/20 April), lead to a slow development of the vine and damage from frost remained limited to 350 hectares (100%).
May and June were generally dry and sunny. Full flower was on June 19 for the Chardonnay, June 21 for the Pinot Noirs and June 22 for Meunier.
The month of July was characterized by extremely violent rains accompanied by hail (severe damage on July 23: a total of 800 hectares to 100% of 55 municipalities) and interspersed with periods of intense heat. The rainfall also accompanied by erosion and, more rarely, ground movement. This disturbed weather encouraged attacks of mildew which were limited to the leaves and did not affect the clusters.
At the end of August, there was hope fore a great year with high volumes, high alcohol levels and a very satisfactory state of health of the harvest.
September destroyed this hope by beating all records for rain (twice normal), cold (3.5° on September 26 in Epernay) and lack of sunlight (lowest sun exposure in 45 years). The harsh climate slows the maturation and stimulates the development of botrytis.
The early harvest was fixed September 22 and October 2 for the later, but was frequently delayed in order to achieve the best possible maturity.
The degree of alcohol was 8.5% vol. and acidity to 8.7 H2SO4g / l. The yield amounted to 10,990 kg / ha on average.
The Chardonnays have aromas of white fruits, citrus and exotic fruits but lacking a little structure. The pinot noirs are not particularly aromatic, nor structured but honest and the meuniers have a good aromatic expression with hints of fruit and also vegetal (exotic fruits, citrus, peach and box tree) together with a some suppleness. Because of their acid structure, wines from 2002 make interesting partners for an assemblage.
[Source : Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne/Translation FineWineJournal]