The vintage favoured Sauvignon Blanc over Sémillon, but the wet weather encouraged noble rot. The dry wines are fresh and zesty, while the sweets are fruit-filled with a zingy acidity freshening the palate.
Learn more about Bordeaux 2015:
Dry white wines from Bordeaux tend to excel in cooler years, so our expectations of these wines before we tasted them were not high. Sémillon struggled with the wet weather, particularly during August, whereas Sauvignon Blanc seems to have coped well, and it is a general trend that the wines show a greater proportion of Sauvignon in their blends. It is certainly the case for the better wines.
The whites share the wonderful freshness of the reds and they are very attractive in places. The estates that got it right have produced wines that are golden in colour, with generous floral noses and a super level of citrus fruit. They also have a zesty crispness, largely due to the proportions of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend.
There is a great refreshing acidity found in the wines and a concentration of fruit too. This depth of fruit lingers and persists on the finish of the best wines, which are very long indeed. Both of these are common themes shared with the better reds from 2015. Dense, mineral and white or stone fruit notes were other key words found in the tasting notes of the wines we particularly enjoyed.
The wines of Sauternes also seem to have fared well, with the short bursts of rainfall during June, July and August causing botrytis to start and create the right balance in the grapes. Most châteaux harvested their grapes in three to four tries, each following localised rainfall and humid conditions which accelerated the growth of noble rot.
It is, however, the quality of the grapes that were harvested which caused excitement. None of the estates we spoke to had to harvest in wet weather and nobody mentioned bad rot, so one can assume the grapes were in a wonderful condition, pure, fine and brimming with sugar. The majority of the grapes were harvested in early to mid-October and they were fully botrytised.
The style of the wines is rich of course, but fleshy too, with lovely acidity and no cloying or flabbiness which is found in the vintages where balance hasn’t been achieved. There is a great freshness to the best wines, a hallmark of all the best wines in 2015, whether red, white or sweet.
Read about the red wines from 2015.