In the 2013 vintage, vintners in Bordeaux faced a host of problems in harvesting a quality red wine crop. Cold, windy and wet weather during flowering was followed by mid-season hailstorms. Disease pressure was unremitting, and season-ending rains lasted from mid-September through October. It was a stern test that by all accounts Bordeaux passed. Not with flying colors mind you—the vintage is hardly anything special. Yet the fact that the Bordelais generally made a drinkable vintage out of a train wreck of a growing season is a testament to several factors, not least of which is technology. Wine Spectator's James Molesworth explains.