Somewhere on their bookshelves, Bordeaux chateaux owners must have a well-thumbed copy of Harvest Aphorisms; Putting Your Best Foot Forward. There’s one for every vintage, mainly linking the weather to deadly or glorious portents for the quality of the wine to come. Of course the skill comes in knowing how to deploy them. This year, there has been a quiet setting aside of ‘août fait le moût’ (essentially ‘August makes or breaks the vintage’) in favour of alternatives extolling the importance of even flowering in May or glorious sunshine in September. They could even find one, if they looked hard enough, to explain away the early October storms that blew through here for a few days last week: ‘En Octobre; le tonnère annonce vendanges prospères’ (a touch of thunder in October ushers in a successful harvest, according to one farming almanac I consulted).
Aphorisms dusted off, there is a quiet sense of optimism among the bustling cellars. After three fairly difficult vintages, most estates can rest assured that the fledgling 2014 wines are going to be the most impressive since 2010. Perhaps not exceptional in the way the 2010s were, but good quality wines that also have the added bonus of being abundant. We are still not back to the ten-yearly average in terms of yield, but way above last year.
See full article here (decanterchina.com)