As with so many good and very good vintages, the magnificent month of September played an important role in saving the Indian summer of 2014. All the red grape varieties reached an excellent ripeness level, characterised by great concentration, very high sugar content – the highest since 2010 – and excellent acidity. In fact, such balance is typical of Bordeaux’s great wines, whose tannic strength is always accompanied by a pleasant freshness. Under such conditions, our new cellar and fermentation tanks have allowed us to see the complete scope of possbilities in the wine-making process, not by replacing our other traditional vat rooms, which are still important, but by enabling us to further our intra-plot selection, and increase our precision in all the steps in the wine-making process. How far we have come in thirty years! We use four times as many vats to produce half the amount of wine… It’s probably the Pavillon Rouge and Margaux de Château Margaux, our third wine, which benefit the most from this recent progress, because it’s at their level that the plot selection has to be particularly rigorous. As for the very great terroirs, they belong to a different world… In any case, only 24% of the harvest has gone into Pavillon Rouge, whereas 36% has gone into the first wine; the largest share - 40% - has gone in the third and fourth wines.
This effort in the selection brings the Pavillon Rouge closer to the first wine, as much in quality as in personality, even if it still lacks the magic that belongs only to the great plots.
The proportions of the grape varieties in the Pavillon Rouge blend are classic: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 1% Petit Verdot. (October 2018)
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.