2015 is an excellent vintage, with some outstanding wines. It’s an exceptional vintage for some areas and if you’re interested in the best wines for a reasonable price – for mid-term drinking (in 5-18 years) – you can find many in the appellations of Saint Emilion, Margaux and Pessac-Léognan. Pomerol is great as well but bargains are harder to find, while the lesser known areas on the right bank have produced numerous delicious wines.
Left bank Keep reading
It’s Bordeaux en primeur season, when email inboxes can become stuffed with offers of the latest vintage. I went to 50 chateaux over a period of ten days earlier in the month, as you do, to taste the 2015s from barrel, and my report for Harpers (a trade mag) is published today. I’ve listed my scores on the best 250+ reds and 50 whites below.
Scores on the top names from 9 leading critics, and mine for some reason, can be compared on this handy ‘critical opinion’ page on Liv-ex, the fine wine exchange.
Many of these are likely to be of interest to UK en primeur buyers; they are listed by appellation. This was my sixteenth consecutive year of tasting barrel samples from the top estates.
NB With prices starting to come out, I’ve noted the release price for the 2014 en primeur as a guide, as quoted by Liv-ex, for many but not all of the wines. The price is per case of 12, in bond (excluding duty and VAT). UK prices for the 2015s will undoubtedly be higher, if only because of the exchange rate.
As a backdrop to the official ’en primeur’ tastings in Bordeaux next week, here’s my report on how the weather had an impact on the 2015 vintage. The graphs and images should provide a Bordeaux enthusiast with a fairly thorough grasp of how this fine vintage came about, and also why there are regional differences.
It’s a seriously long post, so you may prefer to download it as a pdf – ideal for reading later on an iPad or large mobile.
This was also published on jancisrobinson.com and Livex.
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.
The Cabernet Sauvignon harvest at Ch Lafite Rothschild.
Here’s an update on the Bordeaux harvest since my last report on 8 September. This was published on JancisRobinson.com (click on the Bordeaux 2015 tab for related posts on the site) and on Livex, the fine wine exchange.
After a dry start to September, when most of the dry whites were picked, there were heavy, localised showers just as the Merlot harvest began in some areas in the middle of the month, before clear weather returned from Sunday 20 September. Other than some rain on Tuesday 22, it’s been clear and dry and, crucially, the forecast is good for the rest of the month.
The week of 12-19 September saw quite un-Bordeaux like weather, thanks to the fallout from the distant Tropical Storm Henri, with heavy showers giving way to bright sunshine an hour or two later. It was also evident that the downpours were extremely localised and sweeping generalisations should really be avoided. This is borne out by the statistics for the week – 115 mm of rain for that week in Civrac at the northern end of the Médoc, compared to less than 50 mm at the southern point at Blanquefort, just north of the city of Bordeaux. And that’s just the Médoc. On the right bank, the amount of rain that fell was also quite variable. Beneficial for some, less so for others. Keep reading