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Bordeaux 2014 declared ‘miracle’ vintage

2014 Bordeaux is a “great”, “miracle” vintage that is close in style and quality to the exceptional 2010s, according to Nicolas Glumineau, general manager for Roederer’s Bordeaux estates.

Nicolas Glumineau of Roederer (Photo: db)

Glumineau, whose responsibilities stretch from Pauillac second growth Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande to St Estèphe cru bourgeois estates Château de Pez and Château Haut Beauséjour, told db that he considered last year’s harvest “a great vintage”.

Continuing, he said that it was “a kind of miracle vintage”, due to the unusually fine weather from late August until mid-November, which followed a wet and cool June, July and early August.

The unbroken dry and sunny conditions in the latter half of the year allowed Glumineau to oversee the longest harvest on record for Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, which lasted five weeks.

As a result, he said that 2014 was a particularly good year for Cabernet Sauvignon.

“Merlot needs a good summer, but Cabernet needs a very long Indian summer – the grape is a marathon runner – and my feeling is that this is a Cabernet year,” he said.

Continuing, he said that 2014 was between 2001 and 2010 in style, adding, “but it is very close to 2010, 2014 has a very obvious tannic structure and a long ageing potential; it is balanced, with density and richness,” he said.

Noting that alcohols are 13.2% for the Pauillac estate’s first and second wine, he further described the wines as “charming, fruity and creamy”, and “the kind of wine I’d love to make every year”.

Clarifying his comparison with 2010, Glumineau said that the 2010 vintage was “outstanding”, and said that 2014 “was not at the same level, but we have something great.”

In terms of pricing the 2014 vintage release, Glumineau told db that he would be waiting to see how the market reacts to prices from neighbouring cru classé estates before deciding the level for Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande.

“I will take time to analyse the markets at the start of this year’s en primeur campaign… we need to take the time not to price too early,” he said, adding that the second growth property was not holding unsold stock.

“We have no more 2012 or 2013 available,” he said, adding, “So I am sure we have made the effort to price the wines well with those last two years” – which were both released at €48 a bottle to the négociants.

Nevertheless, he said that Bordeaux would need to “listen to the markets and react pragmatically”.

Indeed, he said, “I think the en primeur system is a fantastic way to create a good relationship between the wineries, the merchants and the final customers, so we shouldn’t break the toy.”

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