The Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) has just released its 2022 vintage report, which mentions difficult climate conditions, and 2022 being one the earliest harvests on record.
Despite these challenges, amongst others, ‘high-quality grapes’ were still produced. Pruning was delayed to limit the risk of a late frost and customized leaf removal and trellising was deployed to protect bunches from the sun.
The 2022 report also highlights the “deep roots of Bordeaux vines” and their natural resistance to water stress as contributing factors to the good health of the grapes.
Due to the scorching summer and autumn temperatures, the harvest began 15-20 days ahead of the 10-year average.
Rain started in mid-August, which brought new life to the vines, slightly increasing the volume of the berries. Stimulated in parallel by the alternation of hot days and cool nights, the grapes were able to reach optimum ripeness, according to the report.
Ideal conditions at the end of September favoured the development of botrytis on the grapes. The weather conditions allowed for four to five successive passes through the vineyard up to the end of October.
For the third year in a row, the volume of the harvest in Bordeaux is below the 10-year average, in large part due to the drought, which had a major impact on the overall yield of the 2022 vintage.
Extreme climate events also hit the vineyards in 2022, leading to significant losses in some cases. As a result, the volume of AOC wine produced in 2022 is 4.11 million ha, 11% below the 10-year average.
The early harvest had no adverse effect on the quality of the 2022 vintage in Bordeaux. The weather conditions from the end of August to the end of October were, “ideal for picking without haste and at perfect ripeness, despite the dates being earlier than usual”, according to the report.
The dry white wines are said to possess the characteristics of a good quality vintage, maintaining freshness and acidity despite the drought.
For the rosé wines, “the juices are just the right colour and full of flavour”, the report also states.
The juices from the red grapes are “exceptional, with perfectly ripe tannins and yet without excessive alcohol levels. The wines have a unique fruitiness, silky and concentrated without being heavy”.
The early-drinking red wines of Bordeaux, “have all the qualities of well-balanced wines with very nice freshness”.
And for those destined to remain longer in bottle, their aging potential seems “particularly promising”, the report also finds.