26 September, 2017
Champagne 2017: Easy season, harder harvest
The Champagne-harvest of 2017 is through, and let’s just say that our expectations are as big as we dare.
Even we have picked the grapes, sorted them out and when tasting them appreciated their interesting balance between high acidity and a strong sweetness, we still cannot know them very well as wine. Neither young, nor older and since every change has many possible directions, we'll have to wait to know what flavours and tastes time will bring us.
Early, dry, warm then cooler season with rain
In 2017, the growth of the vines began already in early April, and we were lucky to avoid damages when it froze a few weeks later. Very warm days, very little rain were the standard most days until mid July where the temperatures finally dropped and days got cooler.
The start of the grapeharvest was agreed as late as a week before we began on September 2nd.
For us, it was too late to save it all as a surprisingly fast deterioration left us with many rots between our Pinot Meunier-grapes. Consequently, we had to leave grapes on the ground instead of in the bucket.
We count ourselves lucky because our Chardonnay-grapes came out a lot better. These are the grapes, we are currently working into one of our Tange-Gerard plot champagnes. Grapes that came very close to a perfect degree of sugar, and a must that contained a delicious creaminess that we are looking much forward to check and taste again when the young wine will be stable in a few months.
An early Tange-Gerard
This 2017 vintage will be the first Tange-Gerard champagne from an early year.
When the vines have to compete with wild plants about access to minerals and water, this may show for instance in the natural level of nitrogen in the berries. As nitrogen is needed in the early stage of the fermentation, we had to add some to help the work of the yeast.
So exciting to trace our sustainable methods directly at this crucial moment. Double exciting it shall be to taste the result in some years.
Introducing two lines: Singles and Classic
This far, we concentrate on our vintage from 2013. This was the first grapeharvest where we managed to make our first champagne with 100 % our own plots' grapes.
Our assortment this far continues with the ”Classic” line including the assembled champagnes of Tradition and Noirs & Blancs, the vintages The Blanc de Blancs (vintage 2011/12) and Selection (vintage 2007) and rosé champagnes Rosé d'Assemblage and Rosé de Saignée .
Alain Gérard and Solveig Tange, Soulieres, September 2017