Harvest report from Champagne

The last day of picking in 2011 was Wednesday the 7th September. A date which is usually matching the preparation of the harvest in Champagne rather than the end. But an early summer-like spring has given more than two weeks advance to the vines. This is not the earliest harvest we have had in recent years, 2003 with it's summer heat wave and the 11th April frost that destroyed almost all the yield had seen the harvest start on August the 23rd. Luckily this is also the only common point of those two years.

This year we have seen grapes of exceptional quality: healthy, ripe, giving sharp and fresh juices. Our chardonnays, from both Chouilly and Vitry were already at this stage a pleasure to taste. Now that fermentations are complete, our hope is confirmed, as in 1961, 2011 will contradict the common belief that "years in one" don't make good wines. We could have thought of no better gift for our 20 years anniversary. Similar in many ways to beautiful vintage years (1995 for its structure and to 2004 for its elegance) 2011 will continue to keep us in suspense until the final decision to make a vintage or not. We will be very cautious when taking that decision, even if 2011 is a meaningful year for us but we want to leave no doubt about the reasons for making it a Vintage.

Jérôme Legras
Champagne LEGRAS & HAAS

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