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Sep 26

Champagne Bruno Paillard vendange 2014 report, September 11th to 25th.

Tag: Weingütersigi.hiss @ 14:57

Maison Bruno Paillard owns 87 parcels of vineyard in 16 Crus for a total surface of 32 hectares. This vineyard covers half of its proper needs. They complement those supplied by private growers through long term contracts since its foundation in 1981.

2014 climate condition:

After a very early budding and a favorable spring, with nice weather at the time of the  flowering, July and August have offered pretty bad weather to Champagne vineyards.

Happily, the four weeks before the harvest delivered much better weather conditions permitting the grapes to finish maturing in good conditions: dry and sunny days with moderate temperature and cool nights. In our own vineyards we had 1 single hour of rain while picking, the day before last at Festigny.

The grapes:

Clearly the winner of the 2014 vendange is Chardonnay: for whatever reasons, this grape variety has resisted the poor summer conditions much better than some Pinots Noirs and Meuniers. As a result, Chardonnays are of superior quality, including in villages where they are a minority such as Reuil, Venteuil, Cumières, in the Vallée de la Marne, or Verzenay, Verzy, Bouzy, in the Montagne de Reims.

Some Pinots Noirs in the Marne département were hit by botrytis, which implied a very careful picking and selecting. Surprisingly, although they received much more summer rain, Pinots Noirs in the Riceys region were relatively healthy, necessitating less selection at picking.

As for the Pinot Meunier, the further west they were located the more rain they got and many Botrytis attacks they suffered. We, at Maison Bruno Paillard, were not so concerned with the phenomenon as the most western grapes we use are from Festigny, a South facing slope at the

East of Dormans, still in the best part of Vallée de la Marne. But even here, we had to carefully select our grapes when picking.

Our growing methods:

it is very clear that our organic growing methods, consisting of using only natural inputs, ploughing the soils, or alternatively encouraging herbs on slopes, have had 3 visible results on our grapes when we compare it with other methods:

– less numerous grapes of a little less weight, implying a reasonable average yield just below 13 000 kilos per hectare. (Enough to reach the Appellation level anyway, and add some to our reserve).

– an average 0.5 to 1 percent more potential alc.,

– much less botrytis attacks, estimated 1/3 less, Time will tell, but we expect to taste purity and minerality in our vins clairs, a key point for

Maison Bruno Paillard on which we have worked for so many years.

Maturity:

Very satisfactory given the circumstances. Lowest 9.4, up to 11 potential alc. depending on parcels. This is fairly high for our „Nordic“ vineyard where maturity at rather low alcohol content is a key asset…

Acidity:

Quite high. We first thought the wines would be similar to those of 1996, when the balance was quite extraordinary, acidity reaching 10 very commonly. But the bright weather of the last 4 weeks have re-balanced maturity vs acidity to a slightly more traditional ratio. The lowest levels being around 7.1 to 7.2 and the highest around 9.2 to 9.3. We can conclude that the acidity is relatively high, which should give the wines some interesting maturing potential.

Dates of picking:

We started 3 to 5 days later than the permitted dates in places where the weather conditions were favorable but we also accelerated in others, particularly in the Pinots Noirs and Meuniers to avoid botrytis development. We, at Maison Bruno Paillard, have always had a policy to favor healthy grapes more than high alc. potential.

A first conclusion:

Obviously, it’s far too early, today September 25th to make a definitive conclusion of the 2014 harvest, but if carefully managed, it can deliver very good to excellent wines, and maybe even outstanding ones, particularly Blanc de Blancs.

Bruno Paillard, Reims, September 25th 2014.

Für weitere Informationen:

Pressekontakt Champagne Bruno Paillard

David Ecobichon – Tel. +49 7121 241 4045 – david@ecobichon.de

www.champagnebrunopaillard.com

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