The 2015 vintage from Bordeaux is being hailed as close to its best, not on par with the exceptional 2010 but not far behind, in fact Bordeaux seems to be throwing up some interesting patterns for good vintages 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 will 2020 follow the trend? From what we have tasted so far there is a wonderful freshness to the wines and the tannins present are soft and smooth.

This is great news for drinkers of the smaller chateau wines which will be arriving in our shops during 2017 and will not require lengthy ageing before drinking, in fact it’s extremely drinkable right now and improves well with decanting. More importantly our wine makers are unaffected by the speculation and demand for the premier chateaux, for example the La Fauconnerie 2015 is currently on sale for the same price as the 2014 and 2012 vintages, the same can’t be said of the over-inflated prices of the premier chateaux.

So, what makes 2015 so good? Well, in Bordeaux the weather dictates the style of wine for each vintage, in 2015 winemakers made whichever style they liked. This was primarily down to perfect conditions, I won’t bore you with the weather, as that’s what people normally do when they have nothing else to say. In brief, sunshine in the spring with no frost allowed perfect flowering, four months of dry weather produced tiny, purple intense grapes. Rain arrived in August to revive the vines and add life to the grapes. They were picked in cooler than average conditions in September which allowed wine makers to enter the vineyards and harvest the grapes at their optimum ripeness. All in all, it was the perfect score.

Commenting on the harvest, Jean Claude Paret from Chateau La Fauconnaire said “it’s one of the darkest concentrations I’ve seen in the wine juice after harvesting” he added “the rain in August saved the vintage and will be reflected by a freshness in the wine”. The 2015 La Fauconnerie arrived in January 2017 and it’s proving a huge success, in the next few months we will be snapping up some more 2015’s from our Bordeaux wine growers, Michel Coudroy from Chateau Maison Neuve and Haut Tropchaud has been raving about the vintage saying “the wines from Pomerol will be opulent and a pleasure to drink”. Enjoy the vintage and make sure you put aside a few bottles for the coming years.

February 22, 2017 — Michael McDonnell

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