The 2015 vintage: Following in the footsteps of the greatest vintages
Spring 2015 (April, May, and June) was very dry. This was conducive to excellent flowering conditions, both quick and even. July was also a dry month. The effects of water stress were obvious in plots with the youngest vines. Fortunately, it finally rained on July 26th (14 mm), which gave a new impetus to the young Merlot vines and enabled véraison, or colour change, to take place unhindered.
The level of precipitation from March to June was much lower than the average of the last sixty-years. These drought conditions slowed down vegetative growth starting in July. This allowed the vine's vigour to be channelled into ripening the fruit. Another consequence of the cumulative dry, hot summer weather was very thick skins.
This led us to look after the vines with the greatest of care, giving tailor-made attention to each one. Leaf and bunch thinning were thus carried out to varying degrees and at different times. These two operations occurred early in the season and were intense for Merlot and Cabernet Franc, but took place later and were less intense for Cabernet Sauvignon and the white wine varieties. Going through the vines repeatedly to pluck leaves and thin bunches improved ventilation and enhanced ripening.
August was hot as well as rainy – which everyone in Bordeaux had been hoping for. This rain enabled the vines to maintain the necessary water reserves and to provide requisite nourishment for perfect ripeness. The harvest began in September under a clear blue sky. Thanks to this ideal weather, we were able to wait for optimum ripeness for each grape variety.
All the conditions are there to allow 2015 to join the greatest vintages of Haut-Brion and Mission Haut-Brion.
Le Clarence de Haut-Brion
50% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon – The harvest lasted from the 8th of September to the 5th of October.
La Clarté de Haut-Brion
27% Sauvignon Blanc, 73% Sémillon – The harvest lasted from the 28th of August to the 8th of September.
69% Sauvignon Blanc, 31% Sémillon – The harvest lasted from the 28th of August to the 7th of September.