Summer was marked by intense, early heats and long periods of drought, causing rapid deterioration of varietal and pyrazine-type aromas, without inducing significant over-heating. The vintage was also marked by low temperature variations and hot nights, unfavourable to anthocyanin accumulation during maturing. The hot summer also saw a few rainy episodes, enabling the ripening process to evolve.
In September, the Bordeaux region was hit by a series of very heterogeneous rainfall episodes. In northern Médoc, rains were particularly heavy in mid-September as harvest approached. This significantly boosted berry growth and diluted tannin and colour potential. Compared to previous vintages, the vintage showed remarkably low acidity levels, inducing softness in the wine, even where extraction during vinification was intense.
The 2015 vintage, considered a great vintage in Bordeaux, was more moderate in northern Médoc, due to very heavy rainfall during harvest: this induced dilution of phenolic compounds and accelerated harvesting in traditionally late, clay-type zones, where grape profile was sometimes under-ripe. The Patache d’Aux 2015 vintage was nevertheless very interesting, less concentrated than that of 2014, and with lower cellar potential (10 years), but much more approachable when young.
From the vine to the glass
Harvesting at Château Patache d’Aux ran from September 15th to October 1st, with an acceleration in the late Cabernet Sauvignon harvest due to a sudden heavy rainfall-induced botrytis outbreak.
Fruit entering the cellar was dense but diluted by the heavy rainfall at the start of harvesting, thus requiring significant run-off juice collection to ensure high concentration of phenolic compounds. Low acidity and already very silky tannins (due to intense summer heat) allowed for thorough extraction on the Merlot, by pumping over and racking, with long vatting periods of over 4 weeks. The late Cabernet Sauvignon however, with slightly hard, crisp tannins, underwent extremely gentle extraction by simple pumping over, with vatting of 3 weeks maximum.
Patache d’Aux was matured for 12 months, with 90% in French oak barrels with 1/3 new barrels, 1/3 one-wine barrels and 1/3 two-wine barrels. 10% was kept in vat for optimal preservation of the fruit’s freshness and crispness.