2023, The Chronicle of a thrilling Vintage
As Autumn is in full swing, Bordeaux winegrowers are beginning to age the latest harvest.
After starting with white wines from the southern part of the appellation in late August, followed by red Great Growths in September, and finishing with Sauternes and Barsac sweet white wines, the 2023 vintage is beginning to take shape.
The year got off to an early start, with the mild winter leading to early bud break.
Spring then provided ideal conditions that were highly favourable to the generous development and even ripening of the grapes. Flowering took place at an advanced stage in late May during an optimum period of heat and drought. The prospect of a plentiful harvest was thus confirmed.
A cloudy start to summer, with alternating periods of rainfall and sunshine, stimulated vegetative growth and kept producers busy in the vineyards. The sky did not clear until late summer, marking the start of a long period of drought, interspersed with several hot spells in September.
The resulting dry white wines are incredibly fresh and exude wonderful aromas.
From the Médoc to Libourne, the red great growths were picked under ideal conditions under September sunshine.
For Ronan Laborde, President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, “several days of near-heatwave temperatures boosted the ripeness of the grapes, resulting in fine-tuned, deeply-coloured wines with great aromatic complexity and a wonderful combination of brilliance and sweetness.”
At the end of the season, rainfall triggered the widespread development of noble rot in the Sauternes, on grapes that still displayed good levels of freshness and acidity. Thanks to these perfect conditions and clement skies, a good volume of berries was harvested serenely in several passes. A vintage to watch, for Bordeaux sweet white wines as well.
For all three styles (white wines, red wines and golden-coloured wines), the volumes are generally abundant.
“The 2023 vintage was unusual and kept winegrowers on their toes, eventually coming to an early and generous end, much to the excitement of Great Growth producers”, sums up Ronan Laborde.
A vintage to discover during the traditional En Primeur week, taking place from Monday 22 to Thursday 25 April 2024 in Bordeaux.