2015 Bordeaux Harvest – Optimism and positivity not felt since 2010

Dave Smith and I have just come back from Bordeaux, a long 2015 harvest is coming to an end, there is a feeling of optimism and positivity in the air not felt since 2010. During a very busy 2.5 days we visited leading Chateaux in Pessac, Margaux, St Julien, Pauillac, St Emilion and Pomerol.

We tasted just fermented Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Merlot, semi-fermented Cabernet Franc and lots of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. By the end of this week the left bank will be as good as finished, there are a few parcels in St Emilion (not sure why?) still to get in but the majority of the work is done. Depending on who you speak to, the rain which Bordeaux suffered in the middle of September was unwelcome, and brings a small risk of rot or softened skins,  yet provided a drink for the vines to finish the phenolic maturation. Either way aside from perhaps St-Estèphe (where they had more rain than most) it wasn't really a concern.

Fermentations have been easy as have extractions, there are some amazingly vibrant colours. Edouard Moueix told me that the grapes had lots of pips, some of which were still green so a light touch is required when pressing. We tasted a few different tanks of drained Merlot destined for La Fleur-Pétrus in Pomerol, genuinely exciting, these are wines of finesse and concentration with already hugely impressive aromatics. He suggested 2015 could be 2005+ which sounds good to me.

At Domaine de Chevalier with Olivier Bernard we tasted 3 very different plots of Sauvignon, each with distinct character suggesting this is a not a vintage which has been overpowered by the hot, dry July. At this stage the dry whites are looking just as good as the reds. Olivier also told us that in Sauternes they have had two attacks of very pure botrytis and are hoping for a third this weekend. The yield and the quality is excellent. Across the region yields are less than hoped for but decent and higher than the last few years. It should all make for an interesting en-primeur campaign next spring.

Published on 12/10/2015 / By Nick Dagley