Delivers On Its Early Promise
The wines of 2015 have been hotly anticipated since before the grapes were even harvested. Early weather reports were encouraging, and all reports indicate the year has delivered on its initial promise. The stars aligned to provide conditions observers compare to the legendary 2005 vintage – with 2015 already delivering nine perfect 100-point scores from American wine critic James Suckling.
Bordeaux’s moderate climate is ideally suited to the long, slow maturation necessary for its classic cépages – principally, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc – to transcend their varietal character and become wines that balance structured power and complexity. At their best, these are wines of almost indefinite age-worthiness that reflect the uniquely perfect conditions in which they were grown.
Vintage 2015 Weather
The key to this is the crucial balance between rain and sunshine. 2015 provided enough water to encourage growth while maintaining generous light and warmth for ideal ripening.
- Budbreak was quick and uniform in early April, thanks to one of the warmest months on record.
- Flowering and fruit set took place early and quickly in May and early June. Rain during this period can affect the process but it waited until mid-June, nourishing the new fruit.
- The late spring and early summer was very warm, with considerable heat in June and July. The period was largely dry.
- Rain in late July and August prevented over-ripening and excessive drought. Véraison was early and even, completed by the second week of August. Rain at this point also halted foliage growth, avoiding later problems with rot.
- The crucial harvest period in late August and September was mostly free of rain, which can dilute concentration and cause rot. October did see some showers but grape quality remained largely intact.
Classic Across Wines Types
Vintage 2015 is also note-worthy in that all the classic appellations had ideal conditions. White wines were harvested early with both sémillon and sauvignon blanc showing ideal balance between sugar and acid. Sauternes and Barsac benefitted from eight episodes of rain in August, which brought about early onset of botrytis and allowed grapes to be harvested in almost perfect condition with nearly no rot other than the noble variety.