We have become accustomed to the notion that Bordeaux’s current major problem is global warming, sometimes bringing in its wake high ripeness and sugar levels, dizzying alcohols and poorly balanced wines with little acidity. 2013 was the grand exception, more reminiscent of some of the dimmer vintages of the 1950s and 1960s.
A soggy spring led to a delayed flowering and uneven ripening. July was hot and stormy, and August problematic, requiring intense vineyard management. September began cool, with rain increasing as the month went by and continuing into October.
Few grapes were properly ripe by then, but warmer temperatures led to widespread rot. Growers rushed to pick Merlot before losses rose.