The 2021 wine year was complicated
The wine year quickly becomes complicated, from the beginning of spring with frosts in April followed by cold and rain. These difficult climatic events led to the appearance of late blight* in early June. After full flowering, around June 20, Champagne experienced major thunderstorms in July; if late blight* is caused by the year, powdery mildew* will also be observed in some areas. All these climatic factors will lead to a great heterogeneity of the harvest according to the sectors and the grape varieties.

Particularly heterogeneous harvests, resulting in rigorous sorting

The harvest began on September 8 and ended on September 29. The agronomic yield varies from 1,000 to 10,000 kg per hectare depending on the region and has therefore not reached the yield allowed in all regions. The sanitary state of the grapes was very heterogeneous according to the Crus and Grape varieties. The Meunier, the first grape harvested, is the most sensitive to diseases of the vine while the Pinot Noir has better resisted botrytis. The Chardonnay, harvested last, benefited from healthier grapes.
The vinification is in progress
The juice extraction was carried out in good conditions and the musts obtained are of good quality, with high acidity. The alcoholic fermentation is currently underway and there is a beautiful aromatic red fruits on the Pinots Noirs, and citrus on the Chardonnays.

As always, it will be necessary to wait for the tasting of clear wines of January to judge the year 2021. If the level of acidity allows to hope for lively and fresh wines, only the tasting will confirm it. We always wonder what vintage the last harvest is thinking.
Of course, each harvest and each vintage is unique and it is a shortcut to want at all costs to associate one year with another… but to play the game and in comparison to the wine year and acidity, the closest vintage seems to me to be 1997. But we’ll talk about that in 25 years.

Michel Fauconnet Chef de Cave Laurent-Perrier

* Late blight: Cryptogamic disease affecting vines (leaf rust), caused by oomycete microorganisms sometimes referred to as “pseudo-fungi”. ** Powdery mildew: microscopic filamentous fungus, parasitic.