I am pleased to be able to bring you some news on the 2012 vintage from Muscadet, from Marie Chartier-Luneau, of Domaine Luneau-Papin. It looks as though 2012 will be superior to 2011, which was a vintage bedogged by rot (although the 2011 Luneau-Papin wines showed no such problems rot was evident elsewhere, including some leading domaines), although quantities are down. So, good news for us, provided quantities aren’t so tiny that the wines are unobtainable (that isn’t a problem I have ever encountered in Muscadet, even after the miniscule frost-bitten 2008 vintage), but not a perfect vintage for the vignerons who have less wine to sell.
Here’s Marie’s report. I’ve edited it only slightly:
The big ballet of pickers started on last Monday, the 24th at 8am and we propose you a small survey of this vintage 2012 before tasting, together, the freshly pressed juices or this winter, after a few months on their Lies.
Pruning started at the beginning of November, in a wintry atmosphere the temperatures of which often flirted with the negative. At the end of January the beginning of February, the frost, the snow (rather rare to us) consolidated the presence of heaters in pockets and fires of fireplace! (There are some pictures of the snow-bound vineyards in the update linked above, taken when I visited Luneau-Papin in February 2012 – Chris)
This period is a good time for waterfowl and ground-game cooking and to open and taste great wines from friends, winegroovers (I’m not sure if that is a typo or not – anyway, I rather enjoy the idea of ‘winegroovers’ so I have left it as is – Chris) in their own countries!
The spring began early, too early according to “grandma Jeannette” (the mom of Monique and memory of our plots. March and April replaced the sun with the rain and the wind! Gloomy weather continued until July in the Nantes country.
The flowering was not thus able, this year, to generate the full yield of grapes, having been disturbed by the rain. At the end of July, the summer finally arrived, and the shone with one thousand lights!
In August it was warm and since then the higher temperatures and the blue sky have not weakened. The freshness is felt in the morning, from today, but the sky remains beautiful and the bunches look delightful too!
We estimate 12° – 12.5° in the juices harvested today, and we wait for a reduction in the acidities on several plots; what we call the optimal maturity.
On Monday (this will be Monday 24th – Chris), 35 pickers and 5 carriers plunged their hands into our rows of vines.
Conclusion: this year, we are going to make good quality but little! You can already plan to stash away some bottles for keeping but we shall harvest and will thus serve first and foremost our regular customers: you!
We wish you all in good ealth and wish to clink glasses together to honour this great vintage!
Pierre, Monique, Pierre-Marie & Marie Luneau