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A mild winter favoured an early budding, mid-April. Frost which frequently hit Champagne till mid-May did not affect the vineyard in 99. The only damages were caused by hail which touched more than 30 Crus, approx. 10 % of the surface of the Champagne vineyard (very selective care will be needed when blending…!). Flowering: between the 11 and 14 June. Warm summer.
All together, 1999 received more water and higher temperatures than average, with a good repartition all through the year. Picking started 15th September, a normal date in Champagne with numerous, healthy and heavy grapes. In the end, a classical, rich vintage in the great Champagne tradition.
This vintage 1999 Blanc de Blancs has been produced exclusively from the first pressing – the purest – of Chardonnay grapes coming from two “Grand Crus” of the famous Côte des Blancs: Oger and Le Mesnil sur Oger. Through ten years of bottle ageing on its lees, this wine developed a wonderful balance between minerality / floral, spices and candied orange skin aromas.
Release date: Mid 2011.
10 000 bottles, 7 993 magnums and 102 Jeroboams made.
This vintage 1999 Blanc de Blancs is illustrated by a creation of the French artist Guillemette Schlumberger under the following theme: Vivacity. A former student of the great Master Cremonini, she now lives near Paris after many years spent in Brazil which colours nourish her imagination.
A difficult start to the year led to early budbreak. There were some damaging hailstorms in early May, but the frost ultimately stayed away. The summer was overall warm and thanks to the hot and dry August, the grapes looked promising for the harvest. However, a damp September challenged producers and dilution was an issue for some. The 1999 harvest that started on September 15th produced a large yield (12,989 kg/ha) of sweet grapes that resulted in soft wines, low in acidity, which produced Champagnes that, in many cases, miss linearity and structure. Voluptuous and enjoyable with ripe, fruity, even exotic characters but in most cases for the medium-term only, even if the best seem to be maturing better than initially expected. The red wines of the year were exceptional and resulted in some outstanding prestige cuvée rosés, such as Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé and Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé.