It is, of course, ludicrously early to attempt to make any judgment on the possible quality of the 2009 Loire vintage. However, it is possible to say that things looking better at this stage than they did last year. Today sees the start of May and, so far, no part of the Loire has been hit by a devastating frost – unlike the Pay Nantais and other regions last year. This may be tempting fate as frost can strike in May but generally the risk decreases rapidly in May. Over the past 20 years the devastating frosts have always been in April. Furthermore the forecast on Meteo France for the next week showing night-time temperatures well above freezing.
On the other hand the very cold spell of weather right at the beginning of the year with temperatures as low as -13/14˚C was good news for the vines as a cold snap helps to kill off vine pests and illnesses. Since then it has been pretty dry, especially through February, March and April.
So a long way to go but, so far, a reasonable start.