2013 vintage in Alsace: The small quantity ensures a good year!
Professionals do not soon forget the year 2013! Indeed, the climatic conditions have allowed them to show their know-how.
Alsace had a cool winter and a cool spring, but also it was very humid. These conditions, which persisted until June, linked to very low temperatures in May, significantly delayed flowering. It was, therefore, spread and very particularly irregular, resulting in sagging and phenomena millerandage. From the beginning of the summer, a lower volume of harvest and delayed harvest was predictable. July and August were marked by very high temperatures in places causing situations of water stress. The few rains in August allowed the vines to make up some of the gap. Episodes of tinny rains recorded around Colmar fortunately had limited effects.
In September, the vines had an overall satisfactory health status. The very high acidities were initially declined while remaining conducive to lively wine. It must be emphasized at the beginning of the harvest, the region has benefited from weather for once perfect: sunshine, mild temperatures and cool nights.
Fixed as each year thanks to checks of maturity, harvest dates in 2013 were as follows:
- For AOC Crémant d’Alsace, September 19.
- For AOC Alsace, Wednesday, September 30 for all varieties but on Oct. 7 for Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
- For AOC Alsace Grand Cru, September 30 called for all places and all varieties (except as required by some Local Managements) but on Oct. 7 for Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
- For descriptions Vendanges Tardives and Selection de Grains Nobles, October 14. Nevertheless, the harvest was not easy! It took organize them weather (rainy period in early October), the evolution of maturities and the health status and, for each parcel, almost regardless of the varietal. Crémant d’Alsace is part of the great successes of this vintage, Pinot Blanc is the main grape of these sparkling wines. It also produces excellent still wines, well-balanced and generous fruit. Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer are particularly cool with controlled levels of alcohol and therefore beautifully balanced, all-of-fact conducive to fine use. The Pinot Noir are colored with good balance tannins / acidity. The Sylvaner are light and crisp. If Muscats are typed, the volume will remain low due to sagging. Harvest conditions were more difficult for Riesling. These were collected later and may have suffered a rainy weather. Fortunately, mastery of the force once again was crucial to ensure quality. Finally, wines with notes of ripe fruit and white flowers on the nose, and mouth with good materials combined with very chiseled acidity. Given the delicate climatic conditions observed during the second half of October and weak financial performance in general, producing Vendanges Tardives (Late Harvest) and Selection de Grains Nobles was more limited than with a total volume of 3,817 hl found (in down more than 60% compared to 2012).
Thus the 2013 harvest shows a volume, all AOC together, to 976,115 hl, down 12.9% compared to 2012 and 11% compared to the average of the previous five harvests. Of this total, 697,839 hl of AOC Alsace (including 32,245 hl of communal and localities), 38 026 hl of AOC Alsace Grand Cru and 240,250 hl of AOC Crémant d’Alsace.
On the commercial front, the year 2013 ended with a total volume sold, all AOC and all destinations of 1,066,457 hectoliters (142.2 million bottles). This volume is up 1.4% from the previous year, driven by exports, which grew by 4.6%; the French market for its part remained stable.