Bordeaux 2017 – harvest and weather report

The 2017 harvest in St-Emilion

Bordeaux 2017 will go down as the year of the frost. But now that the harvest is complete, it’s clear that this really is a vintage of haves, have-nots and somewhere-in-betweens. For those growers and châteaux with vineyards that weren’t hit, there has been every chance of making very good wine. Here is a look at how the weather stamped an indelible mark on the vintage, along with numerous images of the harvest.

Contents and highlights

Introduction – a small crop
45% down on last year due to April frost
The growing season
Pretty good – rain end of June, dry summer, hot August, damp start to September, fine finish
The harvest – a view from the top
80% of top wines from 150 leading châteaux not impacted by frost
The harvest – Left Bank
A good year for Pauillac, St-Julien, St-Estèphe
The harvest – Right Bank
A year of contrasts, in photos
The harvest – AC Bordeaux appellations
Mixed bag, an early harvest
Opinion – ‘très hétérogène’
A good, bad and ugly year
Opinion – a note on prices
Bulk prices up, not so for top wines
The en primeur tastings
Second not first week of April 2018

Appendix
The weather charts
Comparisons with previous years
Frost map of Bordeaux 2017

 

Introduction – a small crop Keep reading

Bauduc Harvest 2017

September is usually quite full-on, what with the start of the harvest and a new school year, but the 2017 edition has been bonkers. Not only have we completed the white harvest – which would normally be the case – but, as with the rest of Bordeaux this year, the reds are almost all in too. We’ve also hosted so many events at Bauduc we’ve had to recruit a live-in chef – what we’d have done without Elly, Lord knows. Keep reading

August review – Smallest harvest in France? 10 things to bear in mind

August has been busy and it’s always more fun having family to stay when the weather’s good. Just as importantly, it has been lovely and sunny for the vines, other than some rain yesterday and a storm last Sunday. (Some poor growers over the river Garonne at Podensac in the Graves were treated to a very localised, half-hour hailstorm.)

The whites are already being brought in this week by leading Bordeaux estates, like Château Haut Brion and Château Margaux, and by some ’petits châteaux’ that are closer to home, like Château Reynon. It’s an early vintage, as we’ve said before, and we’ll be kicking off soon at Bauduc. We will keep you posted as you might imagine. It’s all very exciting, what with three new parcels of red vines coming into production for the first time this year. Meanwhile we’re still trying to work out the logistics of how to harvest the frost-damaged blocks which have so few bunches. Onwards and upwards.

Keep reading

Smallest harvest in France since 1945 – 10 things to bear in mind

When Bordeaux sneezes, France catches a cold. As the white harvest begins at leading châteaux this week, and before a red grape has even been picked, here’s an update to the one statistic that the 2017 vintage will be remembered for: it’s a shockingly small crop, which in Bordeaux is down to that sharp frost in late April. Keep reading