Les 5 du Vin

5 journalistes parlent du vin


3 Commentaires

Cassis et l’influence des éléments

Les temps sont très difficiles, aujourd’hui, pour bon nombre de vignerons dont les vignes sont plus ou moins durement touchées par le gel. En attendant d’y voir plus clair et de réfléchir à des moyens d’être plus solidaire avec eux, je pense au beau mouvement de solidarité qui s’est exprimé, voici quelques années, entre les vignerons eux-mêmes, pour Raimond de Villeneuve et son domaine de 25 hectares, le Château de Roquefort, à Roquefort-la-Bédoule; un domaine  ravagé par la grêle en juillet 2012 – il n’avait pas pu récolter plus de 15 kilos de raisin cette année-là!

Actuellement, Raimond vend les derniers flacons de trois cuvées élaborés avec des raisins que des collègues lui ont offerts afin que son exploitation puisse survivre. Avec Hervé, nous en avons dégusté une, chez lui (voir photo ci-dessous) lors d’un récent déplacement à Cassis, pour travailler sur un livre. Et cela me fait penser que la nature, bêtement placée par quelques citadins dans un espace de vertu morale qui n’est pas le sien, peut être très belle, mais aussi très cruelle.

 

Cassis, ou la Provence en blanc

Maintenant, place à la beauté singulière de Cassis, et à ses influences marines qui se manifestent d’une manière bien visible par la condensation nuageuse arrivant d’une mer fraîche au contact avec une masse terrestre plus chaude. J’ai vu ce phénomène dans plusieurs endroits de la terre, comme sur la côte ouest des Etats-Unis ou la côte chilienne, par exemple, mais c’était la première fois que j’ai eu l’occasion de l’observer dans le Sud de la France.

Nous commençons ce petit voyage en images par la côte et quelques images de type « carte postale » de ce bout de la Méditerranée, pour voir ensuite la formation de brume, puis de nuages qui peuvent, en partie, expliquer pourquoi cette appellation provençale de Cassis constitue aujourd’hui une belle goutte de blanc dans un océan de plus en plus (tristement) rose.

Je souhaite bien du courage à tous ceux et celles qui doivent aussi maudire la nature en ce moment.

David Cobbold

 

 


4 Commentaires

The frost report – Loire May 2016

IMG_1445

 Vineyard by Chenonceaux railway station 

many of the vines have no growth on them looks like mid-winter 

 

Speaking to producers at Vitiloire on Saturday it was possible to get a little clearer picture of the effects of this year’s frosts at the end of April. Although the night of 26th/27th April saw the worst frost there were a succession of frosts from the 17th/18th April through to the end of the month

Jean-Pierre Gouvazé of InterLoire told me that 70% of this year’s crop remained. This reinforces that the April 2016 frosts are not at the same destructive overall level as 1991, when the Loire made only a third of normal. However, some appellations and their producers have been very seriously hit to the extent they have virtually lost their crop. This year the picture is much more variable than it was in 1991. 

Overall it would seem that Anjou was not badly hit. Victor Lebreton (Domaine de Montgilet (Juigné-sur-Loire) said that his loss was around 10% and that the northern part of Anjou around Brisssac-Quince had not been badly affected. However, parts of the Layon, for example Champs-sur-Layon and Saint-Lambert-du-Lattay, had been more affected.  

In Saumur Philippe Elliau, Domaine de la Fuye in Le Puy Notre Dame, told me that this part of Saumur had not been affected. In Saumur-Champigny the damage is more significant around Varrains, Chacé and Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg than in the communes, like Parnay, along the Loire.   

There was further confirmation that a substantial part of Bourgueil, Chinon and Saint Nicolas-de-Bourgueil were very badly affected, especially the flatter parts like the gravel vineyards of Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas as well as Cravant-les-Coteaux and Panzoult in AC Chinon. Whereas Bertrand Couly (Pierre et Bertrand Couly) told me that with their vines around Chinon they had escaped. 

On the south side of the Vienne Ligré Eric Santier (Domaine Dozon, AC Chinon) told me that there was little damage – 10% or less. 

Vineyards around ParcayMeslay in Vouvray were also serious affected, although overall Vouvray seems to have been less affected than Montlouis, where the damage is worst in the southern part of the appellation around Saint-Martin-le-Beau.  

In the Cher damage is again irregular with some severe damage on the north side of the valley around Chenonceaux and Civray-en-Touraine – see photo of vineyard close to Chenonceaux at the beginning of this post. 

Variable damage in the vineyards of Saint-Georges-sur-Cher:   

IMG_1459  

St Georges-sur-Cher: Vineyard, in a lower part of Saint Georges
that looks to have suffered some damage 

 

IMG_1458

St Georges-sur-Cher: vineyard up the plateau well above the village

unaffected by the frosts 

Further east in the Cher Valley Jérôme Sauvète in Monthou was hit, while Joël Delaunay at La Tesnière, Pouillé wasn’t affected at all.

Benoît Roumet, director of Les Vins du Centre Loire, confirmed that Coteaux du Giennois, Menetou-Salon and parts of Pouilly-Fumé had been badly hit. Quincy was less so, especially where they had wind machines installed, while Châteaumeillant had not been affected because budbreak is later here. 

Philippe Boucard (Lamé Delisle Boucard) said for those hit badly it will be complicated to buy in grapes unless they have a ‘carte de négoce‘ as a recent decision by the Conseil d’Etat upheld the demand by the négoce that grapes can only be bought by holders of a carte de négoce.

Unfortunately the bad weather news isn’t over as there is now the threat of hail with very unstable conditions around as May bows out. Romain Paire, Domaine des Pothiers in the Côte Roannaise, was hit by hail on Saturday morning (28th May) as were parts of Chablis and Saint-Bris.          

JimVitLoire-Benoît Gautier
Photo by Benoît Gautier
@VitiLoire


1 commentaire

27/4/2016 – une journée noire

Gel27.4.2016

La nature est parfois difficile avec ceux qui pour autant l’aiment encore.
Exemple confirmé à La Charpenterie.
Photo Sabrina Cyprien Caslot-Bourdin
près de La Chapelle-sur-Loire 

(Photo taken from a post by Sabrina Cyprien Caslot-Bourdin.
I hope my use of her very sad photo will be acceptable.) 

 

A severe Spring frost is a vigneron’s worst nightmare. Sadly frost struck in the Loire, Chablis and elsewhere in Burgundy as well as Champagne in the early hours of Wednesday 27th April. For those severely hit it must be truly horrible to know that there will there will be no harvest this year!

The signs for 2016 were not good – 13 moons and two horrible anniversaries: the February frost of 1956 – 60 years ago and the April frost of 1991 – 25 years ago.

Parts of the Loire were very severely hit by frost during the night of Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th.  Temperatures in a few places fell as low as – 6˚C.

As in April 1991 a lethal combination of damp ground from recent rain, clear overnight skies, very low temperatures in the latter part of the night followed by bright early morning sunshine has virtually destroyed the 2016 vintage in some sectors of the Loire.

Although it is too early to know the full extent of the damage some parts of the Loire have been very badly hit. The worst hit areas appear to be Bourgueil, Montlouis, Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, Azay le Rideau and Touraine Noble. The important communes of Cravant-les-Coteaux and Panzoult in AOP Chinon are reported also badly affected.

Couly Dutheil, whose vines are mostly in the more western part of the Chinon appellation, reports that 20 hectares of their 90 are affected. In Ligré Jérôme Billard (Domaine de la Noblaie) finds that 20% of his vines have been affected by the frost. Mainly those less good parcels parcels that Jérôme reserves for his rosé. Here the damage is as high as 60%, while in his best parcels of Cabernet Franc for his reds only 10% of the vines appear to have been hit.

Guillaume Lapaque, director of FAV37*, told Decanter: “Noble Joué has lost 94% of this harvest, 70% in Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and 50% in Chinon. Overall Appellation Touraine has been much less affected.”

Sabine Corsin, Syndicat de Montlouis reported a 90% loss in Saint-Martin-le-Beau with 50% loss in the appellation’s other two communes. Losses in Vouvray are reported to be less overall and more variable.

Jacky Blot (Domaine de la Taille aux Loups – Montlouis, Vouvray) expects to make 25% of normal if all goes well from here. In contrast the outlook is more optimistic for his Domaine de la Butte (Bourgueil). Here the loss is 20% essentially Pied de la Butte on the flatter ground. The rest of the vines on the steep slope are intact.

In Saumur-Champigny the communes of Chacé, Saint-Cyr-en-Bourg and Varrains have been badly hit. Closer to the Loire damage is much less. “We have lost 10%,” said Florence Chevallier (Château de Villeneuve).

“We have been very badly hit in our vineyards which are close to the River Layon,” said Emmanuel Ogereau (Domaine Ogereau, Anjou). However, we have no damage in Savennières where our vines are on high ground.”

The picture in the Pays Nantais appears to be very variable. Domaine Luneau-Papin (Muscadet) has suffered damage in some parcels, while others haven’t been touched.

“A third of my vines have been badly hit with up to 100% loss in some parcels, one third slightly affected and one third not touched at all,” said Vincent Caillé, Domaine Faye d’Homme (Muscadet). However, fans of Vincent and Christelle Guibert’s Terre d’Gneiss will be relieved that this boutique parcel was spared.

In the Central Loire Vineyards Benoît Roumet, the director of Les Vins du Centre, reports that Menetou-Salon, Pouilly-Fumé, Quincy and Reuilly have all been hit to a greater of lesser degree. Sancerre, in contrast, has largely escaped. However, Roumet cautions that things will be clearer next week.

Although this April frost may not be as extensive as that of 1991, wine stocks would have been much higher after the very good and generous 1990 vintage. Now stocks are low after four small to below average vintages. On top of that you have to factor in the current annual loss from esca, which was not a factor back in 1991. Esca is not only one of the reasons why yields are lower than expected but there is also the constant cost of replacing dead vines.

Negotiations with government and banks to help to see badly hit producers through this crisis will start next week.

PierreetBgelpic

Photo from Pierre & Bertrand Couly

Jim-when?