Region 'Vintage Champagne' - Year 2003
|keep||A very ripe year for Champagne with good aromas and fruit concentration|
After a cold winter, March was warm and budburst began in April. After this bright start, heavy frosts struck the week of April 7th to 11th with snow on the evening of 10th April. Widespread bud destruction occurred. Fortunately, the weather that ensued helped base buds develop which, although less fruitful, compensated for some of the lost crop. May and June were warm and flowering took place early and quickly-- by June 9th.
June was one of the hottest ever recorded in Champagne and saw some hail storms but some vineyards were spared hail damage. July and August remained very hot and dry causing rise in sugar and drop in grape acidity. Picking thus began late August in ideal weather (sunny days and cool nights) and was carried out very quickly (ten days or so instead of the usual two weeks) since the outstanding condition and ripeness of the grapes meant that no sorting was necessary.