The harvest at Petrus and Trotanoy has started – two weeks early – and the quality is ‘impeccable,’ according to proprietor Christian Moueix.

He ordered the pickers in at Trotanoy this morning, and at Petrus this afternoon.

They are the first right bank properties to start bringing the grapes in, as Moueix is worried that the rain that is forecast within the next week could be heavy enough to affect the crop.

In any case, he is satisfied that his Merlot is perfectly ripe, at 14 degrees – and he is delighted with the quality.

‘The grapes are are impeccable,’ he said. ‘I have seen nothing like this in many years.’

For his part, Gerard Perse is reported also to be very pleased with the quality of the grapes at his St Emilion properties, which inlcude Pavie, Pavie Decesse and Monbousquet.

According to some observers the vintage could be as good as 1998, if not better. Those watching the sorting tables have said almost nothing needs to be rejected.

Harvest would normally start on the right bank around 15-20 September. Most producers are waiting until then to pick.

Written by Adam Lechmere, and Stephen Brook in Bordeaux