In Champagne, 2014 was a delicate year requiring great skill. Like everywhere in France, the summer was cold and damp. And as in Alsace, Champagne was blighted by drosophila flies (red grapes especially). The turn in the weather from August 15 and the Indian summer saved the year. Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes barely reached adequate levels of maturity. Worse still, winemakers had to choose between harvesting grapes that were too acidic or risk waiting and losing everything. With grapes ripening very quickly in September, harvesting had never or almost never been so swift (less than two weeks) for winegrowers and champagne houses that were able to. Producers with the resources to mobilise their harvesting teams at the right moment therefore managed to achieve miracles.
In contrast, the Cote de Blancs vintage is very consistent. The Chardonnay grapes here ripened perfectly and there was an abundant crop especially in the grand cru villages of Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. Many superb Blanc de Blancs have been given the Millésime label.