by Olivier Collin.
2018 was exceptional in Champagne for numerous reasons. The vins clairs are of great purity and concentration as we were able to benefit from favorable weather in the Coteaux du Petit Morin (80mm less of rain than the Côtes des Blancs situated 15 km North-East of here.) The grapes were ripe, savory and our yields are reasonable in comparison to the averages in Champagne.
Despite taking the risk of not adding fertilizers at the beginning of 2018 in order to achieve low yields, nature was never the less generous. We therefore decided to conserve reserve wine of great quality to compensate harsher future vintages if need be. These reserve wines are aging in 18 foudres, patiently waiting for their final destination.
A new press acquired in 2019 has permitted us to gain precision in the extraction of the juices and the results are worthy of this investment. It's a major event for us because a vigneron only changes presses once in a lifetime. It's another step forward in being the most adapted to our work and philosophy of making single-parcel expressions.
We began harvesting in Les Maillon on Monday, August 27th. We were at an average potential of 11,5°. The Rosé de Saignée from this parcel was picked on August 30th. I also decided to let the grapes on a few rows ripen a little longer to produce a Coteaux Champenois from this site.
We continued harvesting under the sun with Pierrières in the village of Vert Toulan, with nice maturities around 11,2°. We followed this site with Les Enfers at 11,5° and finished in les Roises at 11,9°. There is another single parcel cuvée that I've been developing since 2015 but that's a secret.
We finished harvesting on September 13th in Les Maillons with the rows untouched on August 30th. The grapes were extremely concentrated and beginning to dry out. When we put the wine in vats to start vinifying the red, we were very surprised to see 14,7° potential, an exceptional degree in Champagne. The cuvaison lasted three weeks.
The warm weather stayed with us through September, October and November and let the woods mature well as we started pruning under the sun.
We thank nature and our harvest team, both of whom, year after year, give their best to let us pick the most beautiful grapes. Both participate in the elaboration of our Champagnes with rigor and conviviality.