Here in Margaux, maturation of the 2014 grapes is now well under way; with the veraison having started around July 18th, it is now possible to take a first look at the coming harvest.
In terms of volume, possible accidents aside, this year's yield should be around average, as opposed to 2013 which was closer to half the normal harvest.
How does 2014 compare qualitatively?
Overall, Spring 2014 was mild but a cold spell caused noticeable shatter (flower abortion) in some of the early-flowering merlots. Weather then improved and June was generally dry and warm. Even if the first half of July was cool and rainy, ideal dry and sunny weather returned, including three days above 30°C. According to current weather forecasts, these conditions will be with us at least through the end of July.
The grapes, which are average in size, sometimes larger, are on on long clusters which should prove relatively resistant to botrytis; this in turn should allow us to wait the time necessary to harvest the individual vineyard blocks at the optimum moment of grape maturity.
« So far, so good » one might be tempted to say. It is, of course, still too early to predict the final quality of the 2014 vintage, which will now depend mainly on the ripening conditions during August, September and the first half of October. However, if the weather continues to be favorable, with north winds like the ones we've had up to now, 2014 could well be on its way to becoming an excellent vintage!
Margaux, July 28th