One thing’s for sure: 2014 was certainly a nerve-racking year for wine growers. Two thirds of the way through the summer, with the risk of rot and mildew threatening vineyards, the portents for a quality harvest were not good. Hence, the weather in September and October can only be described as miraculous. Sunny afternoons and cool nights averted the bleak future potentially awaiting the 2014 vintage. Admittedly, the crop was low in volume but overall it is of a very high standard, and certainly much better quality than the previous year.
A “comeback vintage” for some, a “miraculous” one for others – how is 2014 actually shaping up and, more importantly, what does the future hold for it? The team from Gilbert & Gaillard travelled to Bordeaux, spending a week covering every inch of the region to deliver you an account of the vintage.
A re-run of 2013 would have been disastrous for the Bordeaux wine industry, particularly for the smaller growers who are constantly struggling. The great growths, especially the firsts and ‘super seconds’, always emerge unscathed and unfortunately are likely to increase prices again this year in a market that has lost touch with reality for many years now.
Objectively speaking, the vintage has all the prerequisite qualities to become a great year. However, before trying to pigeonhole 2014 – which takes months or even years - let’s describe it for now as unique. The whole point of En Primeur week is to discover wines rather than compare them. After tasting all these wines, we can safely say that 2014 is the best vintage since 2010. Whether it will turn out to be better is another story altogether!
THE TOP FIVE :
Ausone: Outstanding finesse and complexity
Las Cases: Extremely stylish
Figeac: At its very best
Montrose: On a par with the First Growths
Mouton-Rothschild: The best for 10 years!