The rain that fell over much of the Bordeaux region last weekend appears to have been too little and too late to spoil what is being predicted by many Bordelais to be the best vintage since 2010. It is still too early to make a definitive assessment, and parts of the Médoc received unwanted heavy rain in the second week of September, but weather conditions have been near-perfect elsewhere, notably on the Right Bank, where Cheval Blanc have already finished picking all their grapes. According to their technical director, Pierre-Olivier Clouet, this is going to be an incredible vintage.
A wide diurnal range has also been highly beneficial this year, with cool nights, even in August, ensuring that pH levels are low. Small berries have brought “amazing concentration”, in Clouet’s words. Overt tannins (‘croquant’ or crispy ones), deep colour, fragrant aromas, vivid acidity and around 14% abv have helped provide ‘everything you need’ in Clouet’s view. Cheval Blanc’s yield of 38.7hl/ha for their Merlot and 36.1 for their Cabernet Franc is also up on their average.
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