The Merlot harvest began in Pomerol last Friday (September 14) reportedly for young vines on some Moeuix estates, and chateaux on the plains.
The harvest is due to continue this week in Saint Emilion, Graves, Pessac Léognan and most communes of the Médoc. It comes two weeks after the first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked in Pessac Leognan.
The general opening for Merlot (and Malbec) grapes in any remaining appellations is September 20. Cabernet Sauvignon in AOC Bordeaux for rosé wines begins on the same day.
Hubert de Bouard, president of the Syndicate de Saint Emilion and consultant to a number of properties around the region including Chateau de Chantegrive in Graves and Chateau Pichon Lalande in Pauillac, told decanter.com, ‘The Merlots I have tasted have been sweet and aromatic, and some are reaching up to 14 degrees potential alcohol.’
He added, ‘However, we really need two more weeks of good weather before the Cabernet Sauvignon reaches its full potential.’
Jean Baptiste Bourotte of Chateau Clos de Clocher in Pomerol said, ‘Although there has been a bit of rain again today, the weather is due to improve again in a few days, and most of Pomerol will wait to harvest their older vines until next week to ensure a deeper concentration.’
The first pass through the vineyards for botrytised grapes in the sweet wine appellations began on Monday September 10.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux