The 2013 vintage in Bordeaux? Not so good. So what does it take for a great Bordeaux vintage to happen? The Oneological Research Unit of the Institute of Wine Sciences of Bordeaux University, in its 2013 Vintage in Bordeaux report, details the five prerequisites for a fantastic year for red wine. (Which, to repeat, was not 2013.)
1. Quick, early flowering conducive to good fertilization, satisfactory yields, and even ripening.
2. The onset of water stress during fruit set to limit the swelling of young berries and define future tannin content.
3. The definitive stop to vegetative growth before véraison (colour change) due to significant water stress.
4. Completely ripe grapes thanks to optimum photosynthesis in the leaves up until harvest, without any noteworthy resumption of vegetative growth.
5. Mild weather during the harvest making it possible to pick late ripening plots and varieties without running the risk of dilution or rot.