The Bordeaux of the future may look drastically different to the wine we know today due to climate change, new research has found.
Work commissioned by French environmental group l’Association des Journalistes de l’Environnement revealed that, should temperatures rise between two and four degrees in the Bordeaux region by 2050 (as forecasted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), wines will likely be much fruitier, have a lower capacity for aging and have a lower alcohol content.
Winemaker and oenologist Pascal Chatonnet, who led the research, modelled the Bordeaux of 2050 by cultivating Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes in warmer, southern climates.
Describing the results of the experiment, he said he found the wines “quite supple, but almost syrupy”, while the nose “was of very ripe fruit – almost jam-like”. The alcohol content was also likely to fall from the typical 14-15% to 13.5%, he said, due to the more rapid ripening of grapes. He added that since the grapes will mature faster in higher temperatures, the wine will have less capacity for aging and subtle flavours will be lost.
Chatonnet concedes that his experiment does not paint a definitive picture of future Bordeaux, but says it serves as a vital reminder about the impact of climate change: “This is an important warning because the vineyards planted today in 2018 will be the ones we are going to taste in 2050.”