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14. okt. 2016
Champagne 2016: Challenged by rain
Now, it is not exactly hot news that growing grapes in Champagne can be a tricky affair. It has been so for centuries. Still, in 2016 it did seem more miraculous than ever to watch the balance between success and failure tilt to the positive side. In Soulières, residents must be closer to 100 years than 50 to have experienced a season with such a narrow margin. Mainly due to rain: Seemingly endless rain throughout spring gave us problems all summer. Then a few millimetres of rain shortly before the harvest made the grapes put on weight badly needed.
In the vineyards this year, frost followed right after the first leaves were out. Maybe that's what disturbed the growth for the rest of the season. Or maybe the long draught of 2015 disturbed the production of grapes this year. Anyway, the big variation between the development of the plants was one factor that made 2016 such a challenge all the way.
The must and the wine
We have tasted the must directly from the press. Especially Pinot Meunier is rich as our black grapes got very mature. Their future is mainly red as the colourful element of our otherwise Chardonnay-based rosé champagne. The Chardonnays were picked last, which helped to supply them with more sugar and less acidity in a fine balance between these decisive poles. It is still to early to say in which way the rain of 2016 will finally express itself in the wine. But stay tuned. The continuation will follow in a bottle hopefully near you in some years.
Until then we suggest non vintage of some age (Tradition and Noirs & Blancs), vintage Blanc de Blancs (2006 and 2010), two rosé types (Chardonnay-based Rosé d'Assemblage and Pinot Noir-based Rosé de Saignée) and finally a sweeter Demisec. In 2017, we expect to present the first bottle in a coming-up series of new Tange-Gerard champagnes for you.
Harvestgreetings from Alain Gérard og Solveig Tange, Soulières, october 2016
Be sure to enjoy :-)