Right after the harvest started, Bordeaux’s 2015 vintage was already creating a buzz. 2015 is definitely a good year for the region’s winemakers. The weather conditions provided conditions that observers compare to the legendary 2005 vintage. Bordeaux’s climate is ideally suited to the slow maturation necessary for its classic grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – to develop structure, power, and complexity.
2015 Vintage Weather
The key to a good vintage in Bordeaux is the correct balance between rain and sunshine. 2015 provided enough water to encourage growth, but not so much that rot was encouraged to develop. Plenty of sunshine provided light and warmth for ideal ripening.
- Bud break in early April was even and quick, thanks to one of the warmest months on record in the region.
- Flowering occurred early in May and the beginning of June. Too much rain during this period can impact the vines’ development, but it held off until mid-June.
- The rest of the spring and early summer were very warm, with considerable heat in June and July. Very little rain fell during this time.
- Cooler temperatures, particularly at night, and some nourishing rain in late July and August kept the grapes from over-ripening.
- The crucial harvest period in late August and September was mostly dry. Rainfall during this period can dilute the grapes’ concentration and cause rot. Some showers in October made for a few quick harvests, but grape quality remained largely intact.
Classic Across The Region
The 2015 vintage is also remarkable that all the classic appellations equally benefited from excellent conditions. White wines were harvested early; both Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc showed the ideal balance between sugar and acid. Sauternes and Barsac benefited from eight episodes of rain in August, which brought on a relatively early onset of botrytis, allowing the grapes to be harvested in nearly perfect condition.