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Bordeaux winegrowers hail 2015 vintage

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Bordeaux winegrowers hail 2015 vintage
It's looking like a good year for Bordeaux wine. Photo: AFP
08:33 CEST+02:00
For lovers of a good red Bordeaux, 2015 is shaping up as a "magnificent" vintage, growers from the largest wine-producing area in France said on Thursday.

The harvest kicked off with Merlot grapes, which are eventually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc to make the blended wine, and vintners are delighted.

"It is magnificent, much like the wonderful years of 2005 or 2010," gushed Michele Bechet, owner of Chateau Fougas.

"The juice has a lot of flavour, the grapes have few seeds and a thick skin, they will give refined tannins," she said of the substance in grapes that contribute to the feel of red wine in the mouth.

Stephan Von Neipperg, a German-born owner of wines from the regions of Saint-Emilion, Canon-la-Gaffeliere and La Mondotte, said he had "never seen" such dark-coloured juice from his grapes after only 12 hours of maceration, or soaking.

"We can already confirm that 2015 is going to be a great vintage," he said.

He added that a scorching hot July, rainy August and sunny autumn were "just what was needed" for the promising harvest.

The good news from the vineyards coincides with news that the wine market in China -- Bordeaux's main export client -- has kicked off again after two years of plummeting sales

A crackdown on corruption by China's new leadership had hit sales of Western luxury goods -- including top wines -- as lavish gifts were often used to curry favour with officials.

Bordeaux wine board president CIVB Bernard Farges said on Wednesday there had been a "big revival" in the Chinese market in 2015.

"The country is so big that the smallest variations are, on our scale, very important," he said.

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