Domaine de L'Enchantoir faired badly with the 2012 vintage, BUT and its a big but Pierre was clever with his decisions. Firstly he decided to sell his white grapes of Chardonnay and Chenin blanc to the local sparkling wine house Ackerman now owned by Cave de Saumur the local co-operative. Clever because he got a good price due to low yields and secondly it helped his cash flow which is a pretty goood reason in any event. His yields were 25 hl/ha against the norm of 40 hl/ha. The other big reason was that the potential alcohol was only 11.5-11.8% and this is low for normal wines but ideal for sparkling as the first wine is normally around this value and the extra 1% will be added with the second fermentation. So the reds were harvested. The Saumur rouge and the Puy Notre Dame both yielding 25 hl/ha as against a norm of 40 hl/ha and an appellation max of 60 and 50 hl/ha respectively. So you see with the yields being so low we could get something out of the vintage. The fermentation at Enchantoir is of a slower pace with a lower temperature in a natural environment as there is no airconditioning in the chai. This leaves the wine to develop at its own pace and it only gets a boost if the outside temperature drops like in the last few days. Pierre will put an electrical heating rod into the vat to help maintain temperature for the alcoholic fermentation. Its has just finished having gone for about a month from the harvest on 19 October. It'll be a fresh fruity vintage this year with no great potential for ageing so our discussion was about selling the 2012 early and keeping the 2010 and 2011 which remains in the vats developing nicely thank you very much. Malo-lactic fermentation will probably come quite quickly thereafter from the experiences I have learnt from other winemakers. Anyway we still have 2009 in stock so get in there whilst the going is good. www.gfwine.co.uk Cheers.