Region 'Vintage Champagne' - Year 2004
|keep||Outstanding quality with excellent balance of fruit and acidity|
Bud burst began on 10 April followed by flowering towards the middle of June. Berry set started soon after flowering and was unaffected by any incidence of shatter (poor or non-setting of fruit). Crop thinning occurred in many vineyards to reduce high yields of the bumper crop which was evident.
The drought in 2003 followed by low rainfall in the winter and spring of 2004 meant low ground-water levels throughout the Champagne area that promoted ripening and helped reduce fungal infection, limited to a few cases of powdery mildew among some of the Chardonnay plantings.
August by contrast was exceptionally wet and cool but returned to sunshine by the end of the month, ripening berries and enhancing sugar concentrations. Low rainfall and cool nights made for ideal weather conditions for September, when harvest ensued.