Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, chef de cave at Louis Roederer since 1999, describes the unpredictable 2014 vintage as a ‘weather waltz’: an unusually warm spring, almost like summer, was followed by a cool, somewhat autumnal August, and finally a sunny and dry September that was almost like summer again.
In the face of such whimsical patterns, the winemaker needs to be on their guard. More importantly, says Lecaillon, one needs to have complete confidence in the land itself.
He describes his 2014 Cristal as ‘a wine of soil, and not a wine of climate’, adding that ‘climate plays an increasingly unpredictable game’.
‘Chalk is, and always will be, the essence of Cristal’, he says.