From what I can see and hear, there are some pretty big smiles around the Bordeaux vineyards at present as winemakers and wineries start to appreciate their successes from the 2015 season. For many Bordeaux wine businesses, this has been their first big success since 2010, with each intervening season having presented its own series of major challenges. This had made team Paradise Rescued somewhat apprehensive seeing as the quality of our flagship B1ockOne 100% varietal Cabernet Franc has steadily but noticeably improved across that same period. As grape growers across Bordeaux started to congratulate themselves even ahead of the 2015 harvest, at team Paradise Rescued we could see the high quality of our fruit but would that mean a further improvement in our wine?

Although, it is early into the overall 2015 winemaking process – by which we include the full barrel maturation – there is still only one way to find out. Taste it!

Together with Pascale, our vigneronne, I tasted all seven barrels of Cabernet Franc and Merlot wines. Already a couple of the Cabernet Franc barrels are showing excellent promise. Our CabFranc is typically very forward and 2015 is no exception. The Merlot has a higher level of tannin and will take more time to reveal its true colours. But at a quick taste, it has the early potential to be an outstanding Merlot. Could this be our future benchmark at Paradise Rescued?

Magician and miracle maker. Vigneronne Pascale Bervas harvesting the Old Vine Block Merlot.

Architect and magician – Paradise Rescued Vigneronne Pascale Bervas.

A wine is never finished until the moment it is drunk. And vintage 2015 has a long way to go before that moment. For the moment we will be sticking with our 10 month oak maturation programme. This has become pretty much our standard for B1ockOne Cabernet Franc and with the current small congested winery, this will be our Merlot goal as well.

We haven’t talked much about Paradise Rescued Merlot since Merlot was a later inclusion in our line-up after purchasing the Old Vine block as part of the Hourcat Centre acquisition back in early 2011 and successfully rejuvenating the old vines back into life after their near death experience. To date, we have not yet retasted the oak matured Merlot Cabernet Franc in store but the tank matured blend is showing exciting promise and lucky fans / customers who have drunk it continue to send back rave reports.

But so far, so good and very pleased. Moving forward now with the barrel maturation.