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Created in honor of the founder of Champagne Deutz, Cuvée William Deutz is only made in years when nature bestows on the Champagne region an exceptional harvest (on average, 1 year in 3).Cuvée William Deutz is only made available to the discerning few –only 0.012% of the population will ever have the opportunity to taste this superb champagne. The cuvée is aged a minimum of 5 years in Deutz cellars buried 25 meters (82 feet) underground to ensure ideal conditions of humidity and temperature. 55 % Pinot Noir, 35 % Chardonnay, 10 % Pinot Meunier
In 2013, the growth cycle was delayed, with the vines flowering as late as July in some places due to the long winter and cool spring. Hailstorms caused some damage, but overall the summer was hot and dry. The weather turned wet towards mid-September, causing outbreaks of rot. The harvest was long and started late, on September 24th. However, most of the picking of the abundant yield (12,0008 kg/ha) took place in cool conditions in October thus contributing to a classic cool and linear style of Champagne. Taking into consideration the challenging season, the wines have positively surprised with their pure fruitiness, racy palates and stylish restraint. There is heterogeneity in the results, but the best belong to the Champagne elite. This vintage is greatly underrated and will likely become better appreciated over time, when the region's most iconic wines are released.
The Champagne harvest 2013– late, but potentially outstanding
It has been another strange year for Champagne, starting with a cold, wet winter, followed by a gloomy, chilly spring with a lot of rain. Vine development started two weeks behind the ten-year average, and never made up for that lost time.
Along the way came a hot dry summer, boosting fruit quality thanks to the most sunshine ever recorded in Champagne in July and August.
Rain came from 6 September onwards, which helped to fatten the berries - then fortunately stopped in time to allow good conditions for final ripening. Considering the lateness of the harvest, the weather this year was exceptionally good – almost summer-like with unusually warm temperatures and sunshine, and a wind from the east to help keep the grapes healthy.
It was a year of big differences in the timing of the harvest, with picking in the most precocious plots starting on 24 September and in the slower-ripening areas on 9 October. Most plots commenced harvesting in the first days of October – the latest start date seen in Champagne for two decades.
Bearing in mind the economic situation, Champagne's governing body has set the yield limit at 10,000 kilos per hectare. Most crus should achieve this yield, excepting only a few that were partially affected by millerandage (shot berries), hailstorms and botrytis.
An average potential alcohol of nearly 10% ABV and good acidity averaging around 8.5g H2SO4 per litre together suggest a promising balance for the eventual wine. The Champenois are already drawing favourable comparisons with the vintages of 1983, 1988 and 1998 – these too being the product of late harvests.