2015 has been described by many people, some of whom have a vested interest in reviving the moribund en primeur system, as the best Bordeaux vintage since 2010. Some producers and commentators have been even more excitable, describing it as “a very great year” or scattering 100 point scores like a cloud of summer dust.
After spending a week in the region, visiting châteaux and tasting over 400 wines, I take what I regard as a slightly more sanguine view. 2015 is certainly a vintage in which some châteaux made great wines, but it is far from homogenous. Some wines suffered from the September rains, while others were picked too late in my opinion and display what the Australian winemaker, Brian Croser, has termed “dead fruit” aromas and flavours. This is a vintage from which to pick and choose with care.
Are these wines worth buying en primeur? Much (everything?) will depend on the prices at which they are offered to the market. Given the fact that most 2009 and 2010s (both “vintages of the century”, remember) have flat lined or declined in price since they were released, I would exercise considerable caution before you buy. If you are a drinker, rather than an investor, there are plenty of good 2012s and 2010s on the market, and the 2014s shouldn’t be overlooked either.
My full report, with in-depth analysis of the market and tasting notes for my favourite wines, will be published in due course.
Tim Atkin MW