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Average 2013 harvest "very necessary", says head of Bordeaux body

Published:  10 March, 2014

2013 was a "very necessary vintage" for Bordeaux, says Alain Raynaud, founder of a group which represents 190 estates from the region.

Raynaud, who runs the Grand Cercle des vins de Bordeaux, which represents chateaux whose wines retail between €15 and €35, told that the region needed a vintage that would be ready to drink earlier.

RaynaudAlain RaynaudAlain Raynaud, founder and president of the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux, which represents 190 chateaux, believes the 2013 vintage is

Although there has been much talk about the 2013 vintage - with some of the major wine writers complaining that quality would be so bad they would not even attend the en primeur tastings, Raynaud says the wines are "decent".

"The 2013 vintage has been difficult to elaborate due to the Spring weather  - 30% of the crop was destroyed in one evening by a hail storm. But the summer was very nice and it's a decent vintage."

He said it would be "a pity" to drink the great vintages of 2009 and 2010 now as it was too early, but that 2012 and 2013 - "medium quality vintages" could be drunk earlier.

"The quality of the 2013 vintage is much better than people expected. I don't want to claim it's outstanding - it's not - but in some cases it's better than 2007."

Overall, Raynaud said it was "approachable, easy to understand and with more complexity than people expect".

He just hopes that the public come to discover the wines for themselves, rather than dismissing them before trying them based on the negative hype around the vintage.

One year ago Raynaud set up the Grand Cercle, amalgamating the groups representing solely Left Bank and Right Bank producers. "It's only in Bordeaux that we make this distinction between banks. Everywhere else they look at appellations. We took the view that it was better to have an all-Bordeaux tasting."

Raynaud said that part of his idea was to select wines at accessible prices, as the region was beginning to suffer from consumers thinking that all Bordeaux wines were prohibitively expensive. 

The Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux will be holding their first tasting in London, of en primeurs, on March 19 at The Terrace at le Meridien, 21 Piccadilly W1J 0BH.