Bordeaux 2014: The return of the king


Photograph: Jason Lowe

Photograph: Jason Lowe

Adam Bilbey, Sales Director for Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Hong Kong office, is confident the 2014 vintage could yet provide the impetus to reestablish Bordeaux’s reign of the Asian market.

Despite British Airways’ valiant attempt to dampen my mood (by diverting my luggage by way of Brussels), I am in high spirits leading into the tasting of the 2014s this week.

With what has been a rather depressed Bordeaux market in Hong Kong and China in recent times, the start of the year has felt like we have finally turned the corner, with increased demand for mature vintages and key years such as the soon-to-be-reviewed 2005s. So heading into this week in Bordeaux, my hopes are high that if the wines are as good as has been initially suggested, the châteaux owners will have the opportunity to keep this momentum going.

En primeur is a more recent phenomenon in Asia, with the mainstream consumer really getting involved from the 2003 vintage onwards and, wow, what a string of vintages there has been to go and buy. However, in recent years the reasons to purchase en primeur have become scarce through a lack of value and a glut of younger vintages on the market. With the wine-lover now seeking alternatives, the king of all wine regions’ crown has been slipping in Asia; surely now is the time to give “Rome back to her people”?

It looks like we not only have a good vintage in the 2014 Bordeaux but one that will also drink well early. For those who want to set the right price and offer some value to the drinker, there could be some truly great buys, and I feel we can reignite what is the greatest distribution system in the world.

To Bordeaux: Mother Nature has done her job, now please do yours.

Follow our team in Bordeaux as they visit the vineyards, sample the 2014 wines and engage with the people behind them: they will be posting updates on the blogInstagramTwitter and Facebook.