2018 vintage at Bordeaux
During this vintage, I visited a lot of vineyards on the Bordeaux area. Right bank as left bank, big names as unknown producer, biodynamic mentality as conventional methods.
Globally the beginning of the year was extremely hard for everybody. Too much rain, hotter temperatures than the average. Consequences : apparition of diseases (especially Mildew) and a lot of work for the winegrowers.
The hard weather was extremely difficult for any style of treatments. Often it was almost impossible, the machines were not able to pass in the vineyards. Some people tried to save their most precious plots using old methods, others crying their lost.
Results: a lot of losses giving to the general atmosphere a bad feeling for this vintage.
Another difficulty came: the hail !
By three times at least, and especially one during the finale of Football world championship the hail damaged vineyards on localized areas.
This occurred unfortunately on areas already fragilized by losses last year (Côtes de Bourg, Côtes de Blaye, Sauternes, Graves, Médoc).
But during the middle of the year, the trend changed completely ! Beautiful sunny days, hot with cold nights. That allowed a perfect growing of the grapes. Idyllic !
A very nice illustration of this unexpected changing was found at Château Angélus (Saint-Emilion) : They named this vintage “the Phénix” according to the resurrection from the ashes !
The harvest time was very confortable, around one month for certains ! The picked grapes could been taken on their optimal conditions, according to the specifies of the plots. At this moment everybody was ok to say 2018 is exceptional ! But, despite of the euphoric feelings, staying careful in the cellars was determinant. Some tanks (few) had high alcohol levels.
A big thank you to all the properties for their hospitality during my visits !