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Great expectations for '05 Champagne and Bordeaux

Published:  23 July, 2008

Two Champagne producers have said that the 2005 vintage is shaping up to be one of the best in years.

Both Krug (based in Reims), and the Devaux cooperative (based in the Cte des Bars, in the south of the region) praised this year's vintage.

Jean-Nol Girard, Devaux's export director, said: The grapes are looking good, with excellent acidity. It's looking like a great vintage, and the acidity will produce great reserve wines, similar to 2002.

We've had more rain this year than in 2002, so the grapes are slightly bigger. But the most important thing is that the level of acidity is almost the same as the potential alcohol level, and that is what we are looking for.'

Meanwhile, Rmi Krug said that the 2005 vintage was looking very favourable', with very good acidity and balance' and that the Champagne house would definitely' be releasing a 2005 Clos du Mesnil.

And over in Bordeaux, the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were harvested at Chteau Haut-Brion and Chteau Carbonnieux in Pessac-Lognan. The CIVB said that, for white wine, climate conditions are perfect, with sunny days and fresh nights' and that the wines are likely to be well balanced with a good aroma'. For the reds, it said that the vines are in perfect' condition, with no sign of rot or illness.

Overall, the CIVB said that the weather in the 2005 growing period had been exceptional' and that early estimations show a decrease in volume compared to the 2004 harvest.

See p.22 of this week's issue for Harpers' southern-hemisphere vintage report.