The long, bountiful harvest was completeded just before the holidays, when the Alsatian vineyard was given a few months of rest. A dry and rigorous winter 2015-2016, characteristic of the semi-continental climate, was followed by beautiful weather in March and April. This momentum was quickly interrupted by an episode of harsh frost mid-April (19-20), which devastated the vines.
Growth resumed little by little but the cool temperatures caused a spinning phenomenon on the vines (partial transformation of vines into clustered tendrils due to cold at time of inflorescence), especially on gewurztraminer, leading to a loss of 30% on the future harvest. By mid-May, it was clear that the 2017 vintage would be low yielding.
Ideal weather conditions and an adequate level of rainfall encouraged steady growth of the vines. However, summer temperatures were unusually high, classifying the 2017 vintage as the 5th hottest in the last 40 years.
Limited fruit and extreme heat resulted in rapid maturation of healthy, concentrated grape clusters. The 2017 harvest was forced to begin early (starting August 24 with AOC Crémant d’Alsace).
METICULOUS WORK IN THE WINE CELLAR
In order to delicately extract and optimize the potential of these juicy bunches, which carried a great deal of aromatic complexity, our expert winegrowers quickly made the choice to use a gentle pressing method. The high sugar content and high acidity levels (particularly rich in tartaric acid) characteristic of this vintage required thorough cellar work.
The complexity of the 2017 vintage comes from voluntarily long fermentation, revealing:
This rich and healthy raw material prompted the development of gastronomic wines with a pronounced structure from the process of aging on lees for over than 5 months, the result of a precocious vintage.
For red wines, 2017 promises to be a very good year: healthy bunches showed deep color concentrations and ripe tannins, developing pronounced black fruit aromas.
Grands Crus volumes were low, so the harvest was short, completed in late September. The final foggy, mild and sunny season continued, looking favorable for late harvest AOCs, and suggesting an exceptional year for sweet wines.
2017 will undoubtedly be one of the best vintages of this decade.