Successful flowering for all varieties in the dry sunny weather – starting with the Merlot in Pomerol and the Graves around 25th May and finishing with the Cabernets just before brief heavy rains around 10th June. A short sharp flowering means that ripening (110 days from mid flowering) will be more uniform, great for quality.
As the vine is self-pollinating a little Wind and dry conditions are just the ticket. The white stamens with the pollen are the male part and the little Berry Inside is the female. Merlot is the first to flower and is notoriously sensitive at flowering. The little Brown cap that retains the flowers is extra sticky and when conditions are not dry can stay stuck on. The flowering and therefore the pollination does not happen and the Berry aborts resulting in coulure (where it falls off) or millerandage where it stays in the bunch as a little green Berry (bringing extra green acidity in the vat if it is not removed).
Bees are useful around a vineyard but more to encourage pollination of other plants and increase biodiversity.
Hooray! the first box of the 2015 vintage in Bordeaux can be ticked. We are at the starting block of a great vintage but with many more hurdles to go. Vintages with 5s in them are normally pretty good. Let’s hope the cycle continues.
The successful mainly dry spring period also bodes well for the yield of 2016 as it is at this time, one year before that the yield for the next year is determined.