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Magazine "Vigneron" - September / October / December 2017.


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Magazine Vigneron - Albert Mann - Presse entière

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Vintage 2014, a Rollercoaster of a year

Winter was exceptionally wet and almost without icy cold. Bud burst cam early on 18th March. Maurice's cherry tree was in flower from 1st April. May began fresh and breezy with the warm weather setting in shortly afterwards.

Flowering started early on 30th May and concluded around 13th June during days reaching 35°C. It crossed our minds that we would perhaps have to harvest early, as we had done in 2003.

All the month of June was hot, dry and windy. These dry conditions made themselves particularly known and we had no choice but to water the young plants.

July through to the very beginning of August, saw a turnaround with a record rainfall of close to 200 mm of precipitation in one month. Little by little, the vines dropped back from their head start.

"La véraison", the period when the grapes make the transition from green to their final colour, took place slowly. Fresh night temperatures in August allowed the grapes to retain superb acidity levels. It was only after 20th August that a summer climate returned lasting for the remainder of the month and for the whole of September. The weather was sunny and dry, without extremes, and took the grapes to the correct term of maturity with a good level of acidity and a remarkable balance.

The harvest began 3rd September with the Crémant.

A surprise guest, known as "Drosophila Suzukii" added itself to the list of predators. This tiny, dipteran insect, capable of devastating a harvest in very little time, arrived in France from southern Asia. It appears to attack ripe and healthy fruit, particularly colored varieties such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer. Intensive sorting by our pickers proved to be beneficial, however, the level of concentration required for a successful vintage is such that the five weeks of perfect weather during the harvest are of almost no consequence.

Low yields for a second consecutive year, owing to springtime frost and intensive sorting, have brought about a 30% loss compared to what is harvested in an average year.

There are signs of it being a great year for the Rieslings, which are the hallmark of the vintage, with healthy berries and exemplary maturity which tend towards balance characterised by elegance and finesse.

The Pinot Noir have fared well and the Pinot Gris, harvested in low volumes, will be in a tight, mineral style.

The Gewurztraminers are fruity and delicate.

The Muscat and the Crémant have developed an exquisite range of aromas.

Picking concluded on 20th October with remarkable late harvests in both Riesling and Gewurztraminer.

The low yields this year will have an impact on stock levels, especially for the "Tradition" range. The vintage is underscored by wines that are dry, expressive and pure.

January 2015

Domaine Albert Mann

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