While most folks around here are getting pretty sick of our warm, wet weather, apparently across the pond some good is coming out the Greenhouse Effect. The 2009 Bordeaux harvest is in, and frankly the French are feeling fairly froggy about it. A combination of warm sunny days and cooler nights in July and August have apparently led to an exceptional crop of white wine grapes, both in quantity and quality. It is expected to rival the great vintages of 2001 and 2007. Beneficial conditions have also allowed the harvest process to start over two weeks earlier than normal, as increased tanning time meant more vigorous vine growth during the day.
The grapes ripen during the evenings while they take a break from their busy photosynthesizing. This particular crop promises higher than normal acidity and smaller, more intensely flavored berries.
What does that mean to you as a casual wine consumer? Normally a vintage this anticipated would bring a premium on the futures market. Luckily, the increased yields should mitigate the price run-up considerably, allowing you to enjoy some really fine affordable white blends arriving in your local wine shoppe in the next three years.
The primary varietals in white Bordeaux are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle which promise floral aromas, a mouth feel that's smooth as honey, and long, complex finishes of figs, peaches and lemon cream. I can hardly wait! If you can't, the 2007s are drinking very well right now and could cellar for up to a decade more.
Grab yourself a bottle from your neighborhood wine store and roast up a chicken Walken-style with some nice fall pears, and you've got yourself something, mon frère.