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Indian summer to save the day in Bordeaux?

An Indian summer and burst of September sunshine in Bordeaux may have rescued the fortunes of the 2014 vintage.

Leaping for joy? Producers in Bordeaux are hoping an Indian summer will save the 2014 vintage
Leaping for joy? Producers in Bordeaux are hoping an Indian summer will save the 2014 vintage

As reported by The Telegraph, with the region having been blighted by wet weather and hail storms, the outlook was bleak, though a burst of September sunshine could save the harvest.

Antoine Médeville, who consults for several Médoc estates, said: “We’re making up a lot of ground. This September sunshine is a fantastic stroke of luck.”

White grapes are already being harvested in the region, and white wine specialist consultant Denis Dubourdieu is hoping for a miracle.

“It wasn’t hot enough this summer, but we made up for the August heat deficit with an exceptional September,” he said, describing the white grapes as striking the right balance between sugar and acidity.

“It is a rare and interesting vintage thanks to the combination of a cool summer and this beautiful September weather with cool nights, which has stopped the damage,” he added.

Fabien Teitgen, winemaker at Château Smith Haut-Lafitte in Pessac-Leognan, described the whites as having “great acidity and good body”, while he is “crossing his fingers” about the quality of the reds, leaving them to ripen for as long as possible.

The warm weather is expected to end this weekend, when forecast storms could force estates to begin harvesting their Merlot grapes.

The Indian summer is welcome news for Bordeaux, which suffered a number of severe hailstorms last year that wiped out virtually the entire crop at several estates.

Sales of Bordeaux fell by 28% in the six months to June 2014. The decline has been blamed on the austerity measures imposed in China, meaning a slump in gift giving and a dwindling interest in classed growth Bordeaux.

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