August 17, 2014
In days gone by, the Bordelais prayed for sun and warmth … and alcohol.
Cold rainy weather was commonplace in Bordeaux then, and a majority of vintages produced thin wines with a green character. There just wasn't enough fruit to balance the gravelly elements Bordeaux is famous for.
Over time, it became natural to equate high alcohol with high quality. Perhaps the most famous wine in Bordeaux history, the 1947 Cheval Blanc, was off the charts -- 14.4% alcohol. As David Peppercorn (a British Master of Wine) notes in an article by Mike Steinberger, "It was delicious as a young wine… with a wonderful sort of opulent texture that was very unusual ... [More]