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One of the least early harvests of the last ten years, 2008 is providing fruity wines, lively and fleshy thanks to a cool but dry summer and a superb end of season.
The vegetative cycle started in the hot month of May. Temperatures then descended, on the whole, to lower than usual for the period. Spring brought plenty of rain. Beginning with the formation of the grapes in late June, the rain showers became more regular yet lighter.
In addition, dates of the vine’s principal vegetative phases were similar to the 1980s: budburst around 25 April followed by regular and uninterrupted growth, flowering on 20 June and lasting for 3 days, change of color of the grape berries between 20 and 25 August. Thanks to inspection and control methods (including the use of reference parcels and modeling) mildew, while virulent, was well controled and the average number of interventions were reduced.
The ripening period occurred during a rare and beneficial dry spell.
During the first phase, it was very slow then suddenly accelerated with the arrival of fog and mist beginning in October. The grapes were rich in sugar with some concentrations attaining very high levels.
Cold nights prevented excessive degradation of malic acid and permitted a favorable evolution of aromas in the white and red while also reinforcing the accumulation of color in the reds.
Harvesting began first in Reuilly on 22 September then in Quincy on 29 September and from 2 October in Sancerre, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Menetou-Salon, Coteaux du Giennois and Châteaumeillant.
The majority of grapes were harvested between 6 and 15 October and the last around 20 October. The whites were generally harvested before the reds.
Once again, one can recognize the winemakers’ wisdom in knowing when to harvest each parcel at its optimum ripeness.
Distinguished by their aromas, the wines have a lot of presence on the palate. They show volume and power. Their potential for evolution is very good.
Again this year, the whites are very aromatic displaying the full range depending on their terroirs. Fruity and floral aromas mix with discrete vegetal notes displaying great finesse. With a frank acidity, they display a gustatory balance based on firmness. Thanks to the richness of the grapes, this vivacity is harmoniously balanced by a sucrosity and richness that fills the mouth.
In the red wines, we find aromas of red fruits (particularly cherry which was already noticeable in the must) completed by spicy notes. Their robes are beautifully deep ruby red with varying degrees of violet tints. Tannins are good quality: measured when the extractions were light for the wines to be consumed first, while for the grand cuvees reds, a prolonged maceration led to denser tannins.
Just a few more months to wait and wine lovers will be able to discover the qualities of this wonderful vintage.