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Comments and Statistics showing the structure and quality of the 2010 Bordeaux Vintage

Statistics are those of the Meteorological Station at Merignac.  Naturally individual figures vary somewhat according to location and microclimate, but overall are a thoroughly reliable guide to the Bordeaux Region as a whole.  Long Term Averages (referred to below as LTA) are: for temperatures and rainfall the average of the 90 years from 1920 - 2010, and for sunshine the average of the 20 years between 1991- 2010.  The Average Monthly Temperature is the average taken of every day in the month.


It was the 5th coldest winter over the last 30 years and a very dry one, being 30% deficient in rainfall.  Winter ended on March 20th. Because of the cold the vine did not leave dormancy and bud until April. Every one of the first 6 months was colder than average, except April.  DECEMBER was freezing with the average of the 31 minimum temperatures being 4.1°C.

JANUARY:  Total Rainfall 77.8mm.  Total Hours of Sunshine 85 hours 42 minutes.  Average Monthly Temperature 3.8°C.  This was also, strangely enough, 3.8°C below the long-term average.

FEBRUARY:  Total Rainfall54.0mm.  Total Hours of Sunshine 102 hours 36 minutes.  Average Monthly Temperature 6.2°C.  This is 2.4°C below the long-term average.

MARCH:  Total Rainfall 67.7mm.  Total Hours of Sunshine 187 hours 5 minutes.  Average Monthly Temperature 9.4°C.  This is 1.8°C below the long-term average.  Spring began 20th March.

APRIL:  Total Rainfall 26.8mm (LTA 80mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 249 hours 45 minutes (LTA 177 hours 26 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature 14.0°C (LTA 11.6°C).  Driest April since 2003 with 33% of Average Monthly Rainfall.  Warmer than average by 2.4°C and the only month during the first 5 to be so!  May temperatures and reaching 29.2°C on 28th.  As much sunshine as an average July or August. A little hail on 3rd but no damage.  Great month. Vine budded beginning month, which was late due to the cold winter, and now developed fast.

MAY:  Total Rainfall 40.7mm (LTA 83.8mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 193 hours 9 minutes (LTA 221 hours 37 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature 15.1°C (LTA 15.4°C).  8.4°C on 5th was a record low.  However 31.8°C on 24th was almost a record high!  Dry month again with less than 50% of Average Rainfall.  Dry from 10th – 24th.  Most fell on 4th.  Slightly cooler than average and considerably less sunny by some 30 hours.  Some violent storms and some heavy rains.  Contrasted month that slowed down vegetation.  Flowering started towards end of month, around 26th.

JUNE:  Total Rainfall 101.5mm (LTA 63.8mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 229 hours 36 minutes (LTA 224 hours 29 minutes).Average Monthly Temperature 19.4°C (LTA 18.3°C).  Summer arrived on 21st.  Flowering with both "coulure" and "millerandage", as very wet middle of month during it.  One of the few wetter than average months.  15th – 17thhad more rain than an average June rainfall.  Warmer than average overall but jumping up and down uncomfortably.  12°C variation between 5th and 6th. Little sun second ten days, but a very generous last 10 days, resulting in just over average sunshine, but unfortunately after flowering finished.  One of the poorest months and flowering started late, mid flowering being around 4-6 June, and was protracted until around 20th, which will lead to uneven ripening.

JULY:  Total Rainfall 15.4mm (lta 54.5mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 281 hours 20 minutes (LTA 242 hours 59 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature 22.4°C (LTA 20.8°C).Splendid, fine month, very dry with only 28% of Long Term Average rainfall.  Only 3 days with rain.  Wonderfully sunny with some 40 hours above average.  4 storms due to heat and overall average temperature 1.6°C above Long Term Average.  Vine caught up any retard. Véraison (colour change) was somewhat late and protracted into August.

AUGUST:  Total Rainfall 16.6mm (59.5mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 253 hours 49 minutes (LTA 242 hours 55 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature 20.8°C (LTA 20.9°C).  Temperatures almost exactly on average, just 0.2°C cooler than an average August, but again extremely dry with again only 28% of the Long Term Average Rainfall.  11th was wettest day with only 3.4mm.  Cool for August until 18th and then very hot at end month reaching 36.7°C on 26th (3rd highest temperature for this period ((21st-31st)) since 1921).  Some 10 hours of sunshine above average. Very dry but OVERALL NOT very hot.

COMMENT:    As we neared harvest time the rainfall over the year had been no less than almost 43% deficient compared to the long term average.  This level was identical to 2005, but differently distributed.

SEPTEMBER:  Total Rainfall 23.8mm (LTA 90.3mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 243 hours 13 minutes (LTA 182 hours 14 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature 18.3°C (LTA 18.1°C).Again extremely dry for third consecutive month, with this time only 26% of Long Term Average Rainfall.  Wonderfully generous sunshine some 60 hours above average.  Much needed rain finally arrived on 21st-24th for botrytis with 10.4mm.  First half of month summery and end of month very cool, resulting in overall temperature just 0.2°C above average.  Only 5.7°C on 28th.  Vintage in full swing.  Dry Whites from 1st of month, Reds beginning from as early as 7th in Graves.  Summer ended with autumn on 23rd. 

OCTOBER:  Total Rainfall 93.2mm (LTA 94.0mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine180 hours 2 minutes (LTA 134 hours 18 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature 13.9°C (LTA 14.1°C).  Vintage of Reds and Sweet Whites in full swing.  Finally some rain, but still just 0.8mm below average since 2nd ten days was dry.  Nearly all the rain in heavy falls on 5 days. Very warm, indeed hot start with 29.2°C on 2nd.  Autumn weather finally started around 13th and first frosts around 18th.  From then until end month (full sweet wine harvest time) temperatures were overall 2°C below average, but over the whole month only 0.2°C lower.  Fabulous sunshine, in spite of rain, almost 46 hours over average.  Golden October!?   Last recorded Red Wine picking 26th October.

NOVEMBER:  Total Rainfall 214.6mm (LTA 106.8mm).  Total Hours of Sunshine 79 hours 55 minutes (LTA 91 hours 10 minutes).  Average Monthly Temperature9.7°C (lta 9.4°C).  Foul month, wet, gloomy, with over twice the average rainfall.  The heavens making up for lost time!  Last botrytised grapes picked 4th November.  From mid-November temperatures went steadily down.  Numerous frosts.  Sunshine almost 12 hours deficient.  Thanks be that the grapes are all picked!


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