|2022 was one of the hottest and driest growing seasons in the history of Bordeaux, with many making comparisons to the 2003 vintage with its record-breaking temperatures. But before you start having negative flashbacks of that vintage, the early hype and then the resulting inconsistency, the extreme highs and disappointing lows, “Jancis vs. Parker”, there are notable differences between 2003 and 2022.
Firstly, whereas there was no respite from the heat in 2003, with temperatures remaining unbearably high for almost the whole Summer, 2022 would have shorter periods of high heat followed by cooler periods to allow the grapes to recover. Night time temperatures on average were also lower and a storm in June and showers in August were enthusiastically welcomed to prevent the vines becoming over-stressed.
Secondly, winemaking techniques have vastly improved since 2003, such as leaving full canopies of leaves to shade grapes, picking the grapes at optimal ripeness, better sorting at harvest etc. Things that weren’t done 20 years ago apart from maybe in the most prestigious Chateaux.