Medoc/Graves - 2008
August in Bordeaux was cool, wet and decidedly unpromising. July had been dry and sunny. But it was the lovely weather during the harvest, from mid-September and throughout October, that made the vintage such a welcome surprise.
The best 2008 Left Bank Clarets are very good indeed, particularly Pauillac, Saint Julien and Pessac-Léognan, where there are several outstanding wines: ripe yet fresh, generously flavoured, manyfaceted and fine.
All the major successes picked much later than usual, and this exceptionally long growing season, enabling the fruit to achieve complete ripeness, finesse and complexity of flavour, is what has given the vintage its character.
This was a vintage that required patience and hard work on behalf of the growers. They had to adapt to the capricious weather conditions during the year and wait until their fruit reached full maturity. Many of the finest wines will benefit from a full decade of keeping before they reach their best.
Sebastian Payne MW