Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Champagne Roederer’s Chef de Cave: Year 2020 - An analytical comparison with the harvests 2019, 2018, 2015, 1976, 1959, 1947, 1900, 1899 and 1898

Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon in his own words:

What strikes us most about the 2020 vintage is the perfect health of the grapes, which is reminiscent of 2019 and 2018. This is the key to producing wines with excellent ageing potential.

In terms of maturity, here is an overview of the harvested grapes (Roederer’s and outsourced grapes combined):

 

 

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Natural degree (%)

10,5

11,2

10,8

10,5

10,3

10,8

10,2

10,2

11,1

Acidity (g/L H2SO4)

6,0

6,7

5,5

7,2

6,8

6,8

7,8

8,3

7,7

Maturity index (S/A)

30,7

29,4

34,4

25,5

26,5

27,8

22,9

21,5

25,2

 

In 2020 we recorded sugar levels (natural degrees) that were slightly lower than in 2019 and 2018 although the acidity level this year falls just between these two vintages. This difference will likely result in wines that are less powerful but with greater balance and finesse.

If we look solely at the Roederer’s vines, the 2020 vintage most resembles the 1976 which had the same alcohol and same acidity levels. As a reminder, the 1976 was a year of drought that resulted in outstanding wines.

Roederer Vineyards

2020

2019

2018

1976

Natural degree (%)

10,7

11,7

11,5

10,8

Acidity (g/L H2SO4)

6,0

6,5

5,2

6,0

Maturity index (S/A)

31,2

31,5

38,3

31,4

 

Lastly, if we take a further look back, 2020 was the third in the trilogy of three consecutive vintages with maturity indexes of over 30. This is a rarity in Champagne! There is another magnificent trilogy in the history of Champagne, with similar levels, and that was the 1898/1899/1900 trilogy.

 

 

2020

2019

2018

2015

1976

1959

1947

1900

1899

1898

Natural degree (%)

10,7

11,7

11,5

11,2

10,8

12,4

11,4

11,8

11,6

11,2

Acidity (g/L H2SO4)

6,0

6,5

5,2

6,4

6,0

6,0

6,5

5,4

6,0

5,8

Maturity index (S/A)

31,2

31,5

38,3

30,4

31,4

36,5

30,8

38,2

33,8

33,8

 

Each area of course has its own micro-climate and the same comparison can therefore be made by area. In Verzenay and Avize, 2020 was very similar to the 1976 although this was not the case in Ay where we note more of a likeness with the 2016 and 1964.

We are now entrusting these delectable juices to our talented winery team who, as it does every year, works with pride and passion to transform them into Louis Roederer champagnes!

 

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