From Jane MacQuitty in Bordeaux and Adam Sage in Paris
IT WAS predicted to be a classic vintage to rival the best postwar clarets and to rescue vineyards in decline. To the winemakers of Bordeaux, 2005 was going to be their saviour.
Heady comparisons with the great years of 1961 and 1982, which set new standards for the world’s finest and largest red wine region, have been rife.
But, while many vineyards will have the claret of the century on their hands, as many as a quarter of the region’s 14,000 wine producers could have bungled the opportunity by excessive use of high- tech equipment and clumsy techniques.
They had a textbook vintage, created by sunny days, cool nights and a long, disease-free growing season that culminated in a warm, dry harvest. But some producers could not resist the temptation to meddle with their wines and, in doing so, they have caused another setback for Bordeaux and the French wine industry.