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The 2005 vintage was a year of marked contrasts between seasons and regions. Following a fairly harsh winter, 2005 had a mild spring with relatively warm temperatures all year long. There was above average sunshine and a slight water deficit, as had been the case throughout the dry cycle of 2005/2004 and 2003. The heat and humidity in July produced larger grapes and bunches, rather unusually for the Champagne region, while the cooler weather in August, followed by a very sunny month of September, led to favourable ripening in spite of heavy parasite pressure. The harvest dates were “typical” of those of the decade: September 12th for Chardonnays and the following day for Pinots Noirs.