As the Bordeaux harvest comes to an end, many winemakers in the area say they’ve never seen such high levels of alcohol. As reported in Decanter, Chateau Leoville Las Cases director Pierre Graffeuille said levels in Cabernet Sauvignon had reached 14.5%. Chateau Margaux director Philippe Bascalues, meanwhile, said the 2018 Grand Vin may reach 14% for the first time that he can recall. Some Merlots may end up reaching 15.5% or more.
However, Graffeuille noted that fresh fruit and acidity meant the 2018 will be “concentrated in alcohol and tannins, but with enough acidity to achieve Bordeaux balance”. Meanwhile, Christian Moueix, head of merchant house Jean-Pierre Moueix, said: “Alcohol is higher than in 2016, but the balance is so great that it compares to 1990 and for certain wines it counts among my top three vintages ever in 49 years of winemaking.”