My annual trip to the chilly cellars of Epernay this January – which in retrospect I was lucky to get in – was to taste the fantastic 2019 vins clairs (still wines). The harvest was warm, allowing the pinot grapes to shine. Yields were down on the very good 2018, but not far from the average. It is of course still early to say, but many of the often more humble winemakers I spoke to feel that 2019 will become known as an excellent vintage, sitting very comfortably alongside 2012 and 2008.
Speaking of 2012 – this year we have exciting en primeur releases planned from Alfred Gratien and Boizel. Their wonderful 2008 vintages proved fantastically popular, so do keep a look out. Other vintages available at the moment – 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2013 – are all drinking well now with no need for additional cellar time, although of course it won’t hurt!
The current blend of The Society’s Champagne uses 2015 as its base vintage (a lovely year), conspiring with a high proportion of reserve wines to produce a concentrated, complex and superb wine.
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