President of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGC), Olivier Bernard, is optimistic about the success of the 2017 vintage.
At the UGC press dinner last week, he said that while it can’t be compared to the 2015 or 2016, it is “still a very lovely and a very approachable vintage”.
The vintage will undoubtedly be remembered for the fierce weather conditions that ravaged vineyards throughout France, but Bernard noted that this had had little bearing on the vines that survived.
“Given the weather patterns in 2017, we might have expected some green Cabernet Sauvignon flavours in the wines. But when you taste the wines, there is no green expression. Instead, the wines are showing very good ripeness levels.”
Bernard believes prices will be lower than 2015 and 2016 levels. “I think most chateaux will price their wines sensibly in order to sell what they put on the market.”
He added that wineries are expecting record visitor numbers to this year’s En Primeur week. “Last year, we had 6,400 visitors. This year, in 2018, we expect 6,700 – a 5% increase. This is also the third increase in numbers in the last three years.”