Winemakers in Bordeaux, cheered by last year's ideal growing conditions, have said they expected 2015 to be a “magnificent” vintage.
Now expert buyers have confirmed the prediction.
“This is something to get excited about,” said prominent oenologist Michel Rolland at the region's annual futures tastings.
“It's a great vintage with precise wines, better than any we've ever made,” he said. “It has the power of the 2005s and… the body and sunny charm of the 2009s.”
South African Neil Pendock, who owns a wine shop in Cape Town, agreed.
“I've been coming for the primeur tastings for about four, five years now and this is the best,” he said, praising the wine's accessibility and fruitiness.
“I think you'll have a big success here,” he said.
Wine expert Stephan Toutoundji of tasting laboratory Oenoteam in nearby Libourne in southwest France said the exceptional quality was true across all the Bordeaux labels for 2015, “on a par with the last great ones — 2005, 2009 and 2010”.
Wine futures are sold to buyers on exclusive contracts who then resell their selections to clients who will not receive their wine until it goes on the market in 18 months.
The system is used by only 150 Bordeaux wineries representing around two percent of production.
The opinions of the expert tasters attending the annual week-long event are crucial to future sales and help determine the prices that will be set at the end of May.
The high praise was encouraging news for Bordeaux growers after a lacklustre 2013 and an average 2014.
“Conditions are in place for everyone to do very good business,” said Olivier Bernard, head of the Bordeaux wine federation that organises the futures tastings.