(photo taken a few years ago)
2013 has been a difficult and complicated vintage for many in the Loire. It has been particularly difficult for Jean-Pierre Chevallier, Château de Villeneuve, as he was physically attacked a couple of weeks ago by a disgruntled 20-year grape picker, who Jean-Pierre had just sacked.
Although the police were called, they are apparently taking no action as J-P wasn't incapacitated for more than three days. Had J-P been incapacitated for eight days or more then the police would have taken the assault further! So J-P has had to lodge a civil complaint.
I'm shocked that this has happened to J-P, a very gentle person, and am surprised and appalled that the police are taking no action and that it is down to Jean-Pierre to take civil action.
News of 2013@Château de Villeneuve
JP: "We finished picking on Friday. The Ban des Vendanges for Saumur-Champigny was given on Thursday 10th October. We had started picking Chenin the week before. The upper limit for chaptalising for Saumur Blanc has been lowered to 12˚. Degrees for our Chenin were between 12.5˚ - 13˚. The acidities are high ranging between 6-7, whereas normally they are between 5-6. Normally my whites don't go through malo but this year I will do a partial malo to reduce the acidity.
Yield on the Cabernet Franc is 30 hl/ha. I thought it would be higher but the berries were small. They will have a short cuvaison – to keep and emphasise the fruit. 2013 is not a year to push the extraction."
News of 2013@Château de Chaintré
Richard Desouche: "2013 is another difficult and complicated year! Harvesting finished on Friday morning. We have a tiny crop because we were frosted on 29th April, so only 15 hl/ha this year. This follows the short 2012, which was 50% down on a normal crop. The frost hit here, Chacé and Varrains. The vineyards to the north closer to the Loire were not affected."
This is often the case: the vineyards on the south west of the appellation are more prone to frost. We tasted various juices for Crémant, Saumur Blanc and Saumur-Champigny, which were clean and seem promising.