Champagne

2013 

Pales in comparison to the stellar 2012, with a cool spring leading to uneven ripening and one of the latest harvests in 20 years. Summer hail caused widespread damage in the summer months but overall the champenois fared better than many of their compatriots. Likely a vintage year.

2012 

An exceptional vintage in Champagne. Despite low yields thanks to frost, hail and disease early in the season, August saw conditions improve dramatically resulting in exemplary maturity, acidity and grape health at harvest.

2011 

Notable for its erratic growing season, which started warm and dry but then became cooler and wetter in June and July. Conditions improved briefly in August but the (early) harvest was problematic.

2010 

A taxing year with dry conditions retarding grape development early in the season. When rain arrived in August it was torrential, causing widespread disease pressure. The return of dry conditions in September helped some producers over the line, but sorting in the vineyard and winery was crucial.

2009 

After early complications a superb summer produced a clean crop of high quality, with particularly good Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. Wines are plump and approachable.

2008 

Initially a difficult, damp year with widespread mildew; drier conditions in August and a fine, warm September proved many producers’ saving grace. Classically-styled wines with fresh acidity balanced by sound ripeness achieved late in the season.

2007 

An unusually warm spring led to early flowering and optimism which soon gave way to disappointment with one of the murkiest summers on record. Conditions improved towards September allowing a fair crop, with Chardonnay outperforming the Pinots. Above average acidities.

2006 

An exceptionally hot and sunny June and July with grapes in fine fettle but a dank August left producers fearful of underripeness. Fortunately, warm, bright conditions in September redressed the balance. Wines are supple and expressive.

2005 

Variable conditions throughout the year resulted in a lacklustre vintage, though favourable weather in the run-up to harvest meant that ripeness was assured. Acidities on the low side.

2004

Unusually, quality and quantity were both hallmarks of 2004. Structured, well-balanced wines which have exceeded expectation.

2003

Spring frosts followed by one of the hottest summers on record led to small volumes and typically very ripe wines of middling quality. Some fine Pinot Noir dominant blends.

2002 

A magnificent vintage for champagne with near-perfect growing conditions, capped by fine dry weather at harvest. Ageworthy wines with plush fruit held in check by keen acidity.

2001

A generally poor vintage characterised by rot and underripeness thanks to a wet and gloomy September.

2000

Hail, rainstorms, unseasonable cold and mildew made for a testing growing season, but fine conditions in August and September redeemed the vintage. High quality wines for short-term drinking.