What a relief after the difficult moments we had in 2013! This succession of very different vintages makes Bordeaux a unique place where experience can be learned from, without having the temptation to repeat it! Besides, in 2014, the cellar designed by Norman Foster opened our eyes to new possibilities and showed where other experiments are going to sustain the progress for the coming years. A new chapter has just begun, and we have had the joy of opening it in the euphoria of a calm and easy harvest! In 2014 we went back to almost normal quantities, certainly superior to those of 2013 but not yet to the level that we would like to reach in view of the state of the vineyard; big efforts probably need to be made in order to improve the yield on a few top quality plots. As usual, when conditions are not those of a great vintage, the gap widens between the best terroirs and the others that weren’t able, in spite of a great September, to catch up completely on the time lost in August. Only our emblematic plot of Merlot, « l’Eglise », was able to be included in the first wine, which represents only 5% of the Merlot in the blend… but it is superb and counts among the best successes of these last ten years. All the great Cabernet Sauvignons are in the right place – that is to say, the best! They provide 90% of the first wine. 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot complete this blend, all in all classic these last few years. Château Margaux 2014 contains 36% of the harvest, the hard core of the great quality. It is probably illusory to imagine going above this, and perhaps dangerous to go below because each constituent, at this stage, is necessary to the overall balance. It’s a powerful wine, fleshy, whose silky tannins almost make one forget the great concentration and fine acidity. It will not rank among the greatest vintages of this century -2000, 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010- but can certainly claim a place just below.
After a very wet and mild winter, without any significant cold spells, spring was « normal »: May was rather cool and June was quite warm, so flowering happened on the usual dates, and under very favourable conditions; it was therefore very quick and homogenous, contrary to the previous year.
July didn’t bring us any great surprises, but August was particularly cool, without doubt one of the coldest we have seen in recent times. These low temperatures made it difficult for the grapes to change colour, which took a long time. Fortunately it didn’t rain much, but in neither July nor August did we have a really dry spell. As it often happens in Bordeaux, at the end of August anything was still possible; a prospect of a good vintage as well as of a mediocre one… The really fine sunny weather of September brought us exactly what we were hoping for: the heat and drought enabled the grapes to ripen perfectly, and the harvest to take place under ideal conditions. The complete opposite to what happened in 2013… The white harvest took place from the 15th to the 19th of September, and the red harvest from the 29th of September to the 10th of October.