As the futures week approaches in Bordeaux (always the first week April whenever the harvest happens), I take a look at what my hunches are regarding this new vintage. At the end of much tasting we will have a clearer idea. Realistically tasting this baby wine so early even after all the tasting that will take place during this period (when 5000 buyers and press come to Bordeaux) it is still only a guessing game. The truth will only be told by the tasting of the wine some 10 to 20 years down the line.
So here are my top hunches for 2015
- it is a very good year across the board, the best since 2010 with a short perfect flowering season and hot summer
- not an excellent year like 2010 as although there was a hot dry summer, just as the vine was suffering that crucial hydric stress in August, the heavens opened and relieved the situation (It is this ultimate stress that causes the vine to swith from vegetative growth to its reproductive fruit creating a super concentration).
- these rains happended more in the Medoc (and continued in the North around Pauillac) affecting more the Cabernet than the Merlot
- it is more a right bank year than left?!
- it is more a Merlot year than a Cabernet
Below we are doing a blending session at Château Paloumey in the Haut Medoc (on the border of Margaux appellation) where we could taste the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (cedar notes, blackcurrant more earthy) side by side with the Merlot 2015 (fluorescent purple colour, lively fresh ripe cherry fruit). Then it was up to us to decide on the perfect blend; we decided after much measuring and tasting our concoctions that 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot was the best balance! The attack and fullness of the wine (the flesh if you like) is provided by the Merlot. The Cabernet is the skeleton of the wine, its structure. Together ther is a synergy. Wines always taste better when they are blended!
We then tasted the actual 2015 Blend of Château Paloumey – delicous spicy blend of blackcurrant and cream (55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot). We were not far off!
Meanwhile as everyone prepares for the primeur tastings, in the vineyards the 2016 is underway – the vines are already budding! Meanwhile in the cellars the 2014 wines are just finishing their final ageing in barrel (total of 18 to 24 months normally) before its bottling in a few months time. There is a lot that goes on in Bordeaux at the same time.