Bordeaux 2015 Harvest Is In The Books

November 04, 2015

The Bordeaux 2015 harvest is now complete - and expectations for the quality of the vintage are high. With the last of the Cabernets having been picked in Saint Emilion during the penultimate week of October, the Bordeaux 2015 harvest finally drew to a close. It seems a long time since the first bunches of Sauvignon were snipped from the vines in Pessac-Léognan at the end of August.

With the fermentations and macerations still in progress, it's early days to pronounce on the quality of the wines but, even at this stage, it's safe to say that the ’Bordeaux Rule of Five’ remains intact: every vintage ending in five or zero since 1985 has been excellent and that sequence carries on with 2015. Added to which, the less known rule that for Sauternes and sweet whites you can rely on the ’odd’ years since the turn of the century also stands firm. (I made this latter one up, in truth, but anything to encourage people to try a glass of Bordeaux’s most undervalued wine from '05, '07, '09, '11…) Meanwhile, the long unbroken run of good vintages for dry whites, arguably stretching back over the last decade, has carried on as well.

2015 may not be the 'vintage of the century' for the reds but it will certainly go down as an excellent year. As for the Rule of Five, the wines won't quite be the same as 2000, 2005 and 2010, mainly because many of the better red wines in 2015 are destined to be more approachable sooner. There’s depth, colour, flavour, complexity and freshness but the structure and the tannins seem more supple, albeit right at the beginning of the life of the wine. And the vintage isn't as full or as warmly generous as 2009, that other great vintage.

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