The 1999 viticulture campaign was on original ground in terms of climate with a significant rise in temperature (+1.8 ° C) and precipitation slightly above normal, evenly distributed over the growing season. On the health front, no major pest problem could be reported.
After a relatively mild winter, bud break was particularly early (April 6 for the chardonnay, April 11 for the pinot noir and 13 April for the meunier) and, despite very few spring frosts, a slowdown was observed at the end April.
Starting in May growth accelerated whilst some violent hailstorms continued until September, causing damage over 2,800 hectares, including 500 hectares 100% destroyed - mainly in the Aube, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs.
The heat of May promoted vine growth and full bloom took place on June 11 for chardonnay and June 14 for the pinot noir and meunier. After a pause in June, it was very hot in July and August and the beginning of ripening was observed from August 5. The clusters were heavy and numerous.
Harvesting started September 15th in sunny conditions but rainfall complicated the harvesters' task.
Clusters were remarkably healthy and despite a slight dilution due to precipitation, the average alcohol content was 9.9% vol. while the acidity was 6.4 g H2SO4 / l. The yield amounted to 12,989 kg / ha on average.
The Pinot Noir is fruity, light and open. The meuniers are fine, generous, fruity, fresh and balanced. The Chardonnays are very fine, crisp, clean and elegant with floral aromas and fruity (tropical fruit, citrus). The year 1999 offers racy , gourmand wines which are round, generous and mature with fresh attack followed by melting notes of fruits and sweet spices.
[Source : Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne - Epernay/translation FineWineJournal]