Bottling time for 2018, a fantastic vintage in Champagne

Many wine producers in France are happy with the vintage 2018, a record harvest, not least in Champagne, where many now have started the bottling. Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy at Champagne Geoffroy in Aÿ says that it is a fantastic year, both in volume and quality. Sébastien Mouzon at Champagne Mouzon Leroux in Verzy is also very pleased, but says it was a complicated year to vinify, due to the unusually high sugar levels.

We tasted (on the recent wine tour) the vins clairs, ie the still wines before bottling that one rarely has the opportunity to taste, at Champagne Vincey in Oger. With an alcohol content of an impressive 11.5% (without chaptalization!) they were powerful in aromas and body. After an exceptionally wet winter, the sun and heat came in April and it stayed for the rest of the season with temperatures well above normal.

The permitted yield was set at 10,800 kg/ha and the growers could also build up their reserve by harvesting an additional 4,700 kg/ha. (So a total of 15,500 kg/ha, equivalent to 99 hl/ha.) A year like 2018, with both quality and quantity, was welcome after the complicated 2016 and 2017.

Travel: Come on a bubbly wine tour to Champagne this autumn.

A stainless steel tank with organic wine

A stainless steel tank with organic wine, copyright BKWine Photography

Bottles "sur lattes" in a cellar in Champagne

Bottles “sur lattes” in a cellar in Champagne, copyright BKWine Photography

"Water", a sign in an old-style grape press in Champagne

“Water”, a sign in an old-style grape press in Champagne, copyright BKWine Photography

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