What will a Bordeaux wine look like in 2050 if southwestern France ends up in a Spanish climate? A Girondin winemaker has set about making a "vintage of the future", "drinkable" but far removed from today's Bordeaux wines.
"I have assembled red wines from the two typical vines" of the region , Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, but produced much further south, in Tunisia and Minervois, in Languedoc-Roussillon, explains to AFP Pascal Chatonnet, oenologist and manager of Château Haut-Chaigneau, in Néac (Gironde). [19659002Hesayshetook"thehighrange"ofglobalwarmingforecastsbasedontheassumptionthat"therewillbetheclimateofToledoinBordeauxin2050"
"These wines are representative of the expression the vine in this climate ", adds the oenologist commissioned by the Association of Journalists of the Environment (AJE) and a company patron, for this experience according to him unprecedented. "It's a point of view, there's nothing mathematical about it," he adds.
His drink, presented this week in Paris, is limited to 13.5% alcohol . Plus, it would be "caricatural", knowing that we will go little beyond "because the market does not want it."
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"To the blind, I would have said a Languedoc, but basic (…) We do not have the terroir , the soil and the subsoil, which make up a big part of the wine.It is drinkable, but there is a lack of finesse, of authenticity. "
She is surprised all the same that the degree of alcohol is only 13.5%. "Over the last 30 years we have already won 3%! In France, we do not even find more wines of thirst, which is a pity."
So what will be rather, according to her, the taste of vintage Bordeaux 2050? "Well … I do not know, it's too difficult to project", there are too many unknowns
– Radical changes –
An increased global temperature of 2 ° C and higher would be the promise of a taste that is too mature, impoverished; the droughts that of a taste more dry and bitter, analyze the experts.
Conclusion of Pascal Chatonnet: "If one wanted to maintain wines of good quality with the climate of 2050, one could not cultivate the same varieties" of vine.
For several years now, in Bordeaux as everywhere in France, the profession has been using its weapons, with the help of science, so that the juices can in the future keep their typicity.
For example with the " Plot 52 ", where since 2009, in the heart of the AOC Graves, the researchers are testing 52 grape varieties of the world to see which would correspond best to the character of the Bordeaux grape varieties.
In the center of the concerns, the vulnerability of the merlot, varietal the more widespread in the Bordeaux, at the early maturation, which may be abandoned.
Meanwhile, the initiators of the 2050 vintage want to first raise awareness. "This bet aims to make it clear that nothing will be the same, that everything goes very fast," said Yves Leers, journalist and author of the environment.
The first thing to do is "to convince yourself of the reality of climate change ", he adds, stressing the economic stakes: the wine sector represents the second largest export post in France after aeronautics
The opportunity also to talk about farming practices to adopt today. For example, less flaying the vine.
Especially since new regions, from Brittany to Sweden or Poland, are (re) discovering wine-growing destinies, or could well rise in power, like Germany or England
For the climatologist Hervé Le Treut, also Aquitain, the experience of the wine of the future is "an interesting exercise". In 8,000 years of viticulture, "we have not experienced radical climate change such as those we are about to live on a global scale," he warns.