Winter arrived on Christmas eve. Snow and chilly temperatures stayed for three months. Shovelling became a part of the daily chores in this winter reminiscent of our childhoods. The temperatures were extremely cold as was the snow-covered ground.
Suddenly, spring turned up. Dry, warm, at times breezy, it left water reserves rather limited. The temperatures remained summery. The vines developed at a steady pace, thanks to a superb May. The foliar volume was less developed following the earlier signs of hydric stress.
Bud-burst began three weeks early, around the 20th May and ended towards the 3rd June. Solid bouts of rain this month encouraged healthy berry development. A cool and damp month of July curbed the maturing process yet brought necessary hydration to the plants.
At the beginning of véraison, the vines were in a perfect state of health. The total absence of powdery and regular mildew allowed us to cease treatment from the 1st July. At the end of August, it was both warm and humid. A little botrytis emerged in the plain sectors, where it is often prone to doing so.
The 29th August hailed the first snips of the secateurs for the Crémant.
The kick-off of the AOP Alsace harvest took place on the 8th September and continued for four weeks in stunning weather conditions, interrupted only by 25mm of rain during the entire month.
The harvest ended on the 18th October with a Noble Rot in a Gewurztraminer parcel in the Grand Cru Furstentum.
To wind up, this harvest has been a blessing following the slim yield of 2010. The acidity potential, the purity of fruit and the balance in volume amongst the various parcels seem to draw similarities with 2008.
The late soil mineralisation, owing to the driest spring in fifty years, resulted in grapes rich in absorbed nitrogen. This contributed to the fine fermentation process that has taken place.
The wines of this vintage are fruity, ripe, aromatic and luscious. They lend themselves well to early drinking but with magnificent potential for ageing amongst the terroir range of wines.