The ‘cuvaison’ is over for 2013 and the wine is being pumped off the skins. Dubbed the hardest vintage in 30 years, despite the rush to harvest before the grapes and their skins were perfectly ripe, winemakers are happier with what is in their vats than they predicted.
Due to the hot and wet conditions the botrytis cinerea (grey rot) had a field day (good for sauternes but not for the rest). So picking was precipitated.
Another problem was the wet humid conditions suddenly after such a cold start which caused the vine to sprout endlessly wasting much of its energy. These needed to be removed early on.
Is it Bordeaux stoicism looking on the bright side or will 2013 be fruity, juicy and fresh.The malolactic needs to happen but tasting the wines out of the vats, there is fruit and colour surprisingly.
It started off bad with a cold, wet Spring and rain at flowering on 17th June to upset the Merlot. It was the sunniest July in 25 years but despite the great summer the vines were not able to catch up.
Yields are low, at least half of a ‘normal’ year (but we have not had one of those since 2009/10).
Due to the small harvest prices are rising already for the wines sold in bulk.
Next year, 2014, hopefully more 2004 than 1974 or 1994.