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Five Bordeaux 2014 to buy for the cellar

Stephen Brook's five Bordeaux 2014 wines to buy for your fine wine cellar.

All of the wines here were tasted at the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux tasting in London in October 2016.

‘Not all 2014s will suit long cellaring, but many have more structure than the softer, but otherwise excellent, 2012s.

Re-visiting the Bordeaux 2014 vintage

The year began well, with a swift flowering, but growers were dogged by repeated outbursts of mildew and oidium, which required constant treatments. A relatively cool summer slowed the ripening, however from late August until late October Bordeaux experienced an Indian summer interrupted by a few storms. This allowed estates to harvest without undue pressure.

The result was a very good year with ripe grapes and wines, although the cool summer probably prevented most wines from achieving true greatness. The dry September meant there was no botrytis in Sauternes until mid-October. The crop was reduced by fruit-fly infestations that caused acid rot, so sorting was essential.

The quality

White grapes were mostly picked by mid-September, showing freshness and some power. Pessac-Léognan and Graves picked relatively early, delivering wines of brightness and charm.

Pomerol, as usual, was the first of the Right Bank appellations to pick, followed by St-Emilion Merlots, with Cabernet Franc to conclude.

In the Médoc, St Estèphe was the driest region, and growers had to work to avoid over-ripeness.

In Sauternes, the crop was small, and quality was good though far from exceptional.

The comparison

Overall, Bordeaux 2014 is superior to 2011, 2012, and 2013. Quality may not be consistent, but the same is true of the justly acclaimed 2015 vintage, which proved surprisingly uneven.

Prices for the 2014s were an increase on the previous year, but that was to be expected after the miserable 2013 vintage. The 2015s were released at an average of just over 15% up on 2014, so the best 2014s will be an attractive option.

Not all 2014s will suit long cellaring, but many have more structure than the softer, but otherwise excellent, 2012s. Early tastings suggest the Left Bank wines are marginally superior to those from the Right, though of course there will be many exceptions.

Bordeaux 2014 wines to buy for the cellar:

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