Room for cautious optimism for 2014 Bordeaux vintage

One of our favourite commentators at Vin-X is Gavin Quinney of Chateau Bauduc, pictured here gathering in his vintage. Besides making his own excellent wine he also writes various guest blogs for wine publications, amongst them Liv-ex, and is particularly insightful about the recent 2014 harvest throughout Bordeaux in his most recent blog. Having been resident in Bordeaux for 16 years he has learnt to moderate his enthusiasm with a dose of reality. Whilst 2014 won’t necesarily be a classic vintage he feels that it could be a “really good one for many chateaux.” Excellent flowering and a gorgeous autumn suggest it was a “bookend season.”

However despite the return to a more “normal” size crop it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the Bordelaise in 2014. After the fine spring a lacklustre summer of cool, damp weather meant the vintage was looking marginal but the glorious heat of the autumn has performed a miracle and transformed the vintage. But that does not mean that there will be uniform success throughout the region. Picking dates have been more random due to varying rainfall levels and the fact that the extended sunshine has allowed chateaux the luxury of being able to wait and pick the optimum time to harvest. Another consequence of the extended sunshine was the absence of rot for the first time in 4 years which has allowed growers to pick their grapes for the best level of ripeness.

Away from the vineyards the sophisticated sorting equipment is still very much in evidence in the winery complemented by new innovations such as yeast boosters. At one chateaux the equipment is so advanced that not even their wine consultants are permitted to view it because of patent restrictions ! Yields may have been healthy but it looks like not everyone has been so lucky. Growers have reported widespread withering of the skins of the Merlot grapes which could point to a Left Bank vintage but again those lucky enough to possess sorting machines should be unaffected. Finally there have undoubtedly been rainfall variations within the region and this will once again bring diversity in the wines but at Vin-X we will of course keep you in formed. One veteran winemaker of 50 years experience reckons that 2014 will produce “elegant, classical wines. They should suit the British.” To read the full article click below.