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I recently received a 2012 vinyard report from Bernard Pujol of Ch. Angelus and Bordeaux Vins Selection – and I thought I would share his thoughts on the 2012 Bordeaux Vintage form a vineyard persepctive.
As I posted earlier in 2012 – bud-break happened early in Bordeaux again in 2012 due to the warm spring – which created an ominous start to the year. To see my blog post go here.
The growing season did not imporve much. 2012 was a very difficult year for growers in Bordeaux. As Bernard states in his latest update: “The first thing we can say is that we suffered from everything except monotony – At no stage did it  resemble normal climatic conditions in Bordeaux.” The summary below is drawn from Bernard’s Vintage Technical Sheet – February 2013.
An early warm spring with tempratures as high as 25 degrees celcius in March caused early buddding that as followed by a cold April that was at 2 degrees colder than its average. It hit the vineyards hard and there was a large inconsistency of fruit.
The early summer was full of rain and by July there was risk of mildew and powdery mildew at a level not seen in 30 years. Lots of work needed to be done in the vineyards to combat this and preserve the vintage. However, August and September got hot and the rain stopped falling. This allowed for good maturation of the grapes and potentially an early harvest.
The rain stayed away for the beginning of the harvest and the Semillon and the Merlot grapes were both harvested in great condition. But, rain came for the later part of the harvest, and the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes did not fair as well. There was a lot of botrytis that required hard sorting in order to keep the quality of the grapes high.
2012 was another difficult year in Bordeaux – following as it does on the difiicult 2011 vintage. The early ripening grapes that were harvested before the rains came in the late fall should make good wines. The other wines will have to be made with a lot of effort in the harvesting and sorting. It remains to be seen what those wines will turn out to be.
Thanks to all our negoce who provided insights on the vintage.
Thanks to Bernard Pujol from Bordeaux Vin Selection for this update on the 2012 growing season.