"They've come a long, long way," Antoine Médeville, consultant winemaker for several Médoc properties said of the grapes. "The sunshine of September is giving us an incredible opportunity."
"We want to believe in miracles," added Denis Dubourdieu, manager of several châteaux inBordeaux and director of the Institute of Vine and Wine Science. "We missed the heat this summer, but we made up with the deficit of August with an exceptional September."
The arrival of settled weather for the harvest has come as a relief to growers, who endured a turbulent 2013. Red wines from last year's vintage have been generally seen as substandard, although the quality of the whites was often exceptional. White grapes represent 12 percent of the 112,600 hectares of Bordeaux vineyard, and quality is looking good again this year.
"There is a nice balance between sweetness and acidity. It's amazing and even looks like a Sancerre or Burgundian balance," says Dubourdieu. "It is interesting that this cool vintage was saved by beautiful September weather with cool nights. We harvested the white grapes with a great combination of acidity, sweetness, fruit flavor and health; the four perfect ingredients."
"The reds still have a little too much acidity. Fingers crossed we can leave them out as long as possible."
Weather forecasts are being anxiously scrutinized by growers. Thunderstorms are expected this weekend in the southwest of France, although rainfall is not expected to be too heavy. That should spell the beginning of the Merlot harvest, the earliest-ripening of the three key red varieties traditionally grown in Bordeaux.