Wine journalist Jane Anson, based in Bordeaux, is one of my favourite information sources for the wines from Bordeaux. These days she is talking to producers to hear about the development of the new vintage, Bordeaux 2009.
Only after the harvest something more or less definite can be said about the potential of the new vintage, in this stage it is just... an update on the development so far.
Recently Jane interviewed Lafite's director Charles Chevallier, in a sunny Lafite vineyard. Let me summarise the main points on the development of the Bordeaux 2009 vintage (most points taken from the video):
- The start of the growing season in April was in good conditions; there was no frost. To compare: in 2008, there was the Graves region was hit by spring frost, which - more or less - diminished the crop.
- Pauillac was not affected by the hailstorms that hit large parts of Bordeaux in early May. Damage, sometimes severe, was recorded in Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves and the Southern Médoc including Margaux - the affected properties are likely to produce less Bordeaux 2009. Lafite's crop however is of normal size, slightly bigger than last year's crop.
- In May and early June the weather was less ideal: there were substantial fluctuations in temperature between the one week and the other, and at times it was quite wet. As a result it was necessary to spray against diseases.
- From mid-June onwards the weather is good again. I was in Bordeaux in the beginning of July, and it was sunny and warm then. Due to drought and warmth the vines do not suffer from diseases such as mildew and oidium.
According to Charles Chevallier Bordeaux 2009 is "OK" at this stage. Now we have to wait for the harvest next month. For the complete interview see the YouTube video below - which can also be found on Decanter.com and Lafite.com (new website!).