Vintage update 2014: France

Hail, rain, no sunshine, drought, storms – France was thrown everything this year, which means that we’re likely to see a historically low crop in France. That said there are rumblings in Bordeaux that the vintage was saved in September and it could be a good one...even though it ends in a 4!

Regions

Sancerre and Chablis continue to dominate French white wine sales. Regional spin offs such as Touraine, Bourgogne Blanc and Macon have equally risen in popularity that they too are now brands within their own right.

In Burgundy the famous villages have become too expensive for many buyers and so we expect to see further downgrading. Wines offering better value are to be found in Ladoix, Marsannay, Mercurey, St Veran, Montagny, Vire-Clesse, St Romain, St Aubin, Pouilly, Macon, and even Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge.

Languedoc suffered numerous issues that will impact supply. A comparatively tiny harvest will mean that for many producers, an increase in price is the only option.

In the world of Bordelais PR, it was either a good or average year. The jury is still out on the reds but, owing to some late sunshine, whites should be good.

The Loire is where you should be paying the lion’s share of attention. A decent-sized crop and good growing conditions means the stage has been set for excellent quality once released. 

Trends

Alsace – as the consumer becomes more confident with lighter, fresher styles, there are real signs of greater interest here.

Muscadet is becoming increasingly popular. With the growth of oyster and seafood bars, it’s no wonder. Versatility is the key, development in this area, it’s no longer just a lean, mean acid machine. Food-friendly texture and good length are the order of the day, all at great value prices.

Date:
16th October 2014


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