Door beperkte opbrengsten als gevolg van slecht weer en ziekten kunnen champagnehuizen dit jaar in problemen komen. In enkele streken is er een tekort aan kwalitatieve mengwijnen. Dan moet er gezocht worden naar vervanging. En dan is de keuze niet zo ruim. Dat kan de kwaliteit van de champagne afbreuk doen. Aldus Floriane Eznak, wijnmaakster bij het champagnehuis Jacquart in een vraaggesprek met Harper’s.
“Jacquart’s winemaker Floriane Eznack, told Harper’s the 2012 harvest is “incredible” But warned that low yields meant some houses would have problems sourcing sufficient quantities of reserve wines for blending.
It was a year of extreme temperatures, reaching unprecedented lows of -24°C in February. “After a mild winter it suddenly became really cold - right to the limit before a normal vine would die,” said Eznack. But there was very early bud and flowering, which took place under a lot of rain and cold spells which caused coulure and millerandange. “Until the end of July it was a disaster,” she said, with a hailstorm wiping out a lot of grapes and vines, especially in the Côte des Bar region where growers picked one case out of 1 ha. “There was absolutely nothing for some growers,” she said. However a “brilliant” August, which was sometimes even “too hot”, saved the day.
Eznack warned that volumes were severely curtailed. The Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) fixed yields at 12,000 kilos/ha, but on average Eznack said growers brought in about 8,500 kilos/ha. This means that houses need to find reserve wines in large quantities - and they may not necessarily be the best wines. She said this could pose major problems for houses. Pinot Meunier was most affected, she said, with the Marne Valley harvesting just 4,000 kilos/ha on average. Currently the wines are showing pretty well, although some lack lightness and freshness“.