In one way or another, all the latest vintages of Pavillon Blanc since 2011 have been very good, even great, vintages. As well as the technical progress made during this period, it must be recognised that on the whole, the weather conditions have been very favourable for the Sauvignon vine stock.
2014 doesn’t escape this rule – linked, no doubt, to a remarkable acidity level because of the cool month of August. In fact, the combination of a warm September following a cold August, or vice versa in 2013, allows for both a good level of maturity, and the preservation of a high acidity level. These two features are absolutely necessary for the success of a great white wine. For us 2014 was also the first opportunity to try out the vinification equipment in our new cellar, built by Norman Foster. It has been years now that we have been refining the minutest details and dreaming of the possibilities on offer… the result is everything we had hoped for because we had never before been able to go so far into the precision of the selection. So the 2014 Pavillon Blanc is an excellent vintage, but there has never before been so little…
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.