Some producers (St Emilion on the plains and pied de côtes, Pomerol) are celebrating the ‘gerbebaude’ this weekend, the French harvest festival. Many producers are still harvesting as the cooler, autumnal weather arrives. Most Merlot is in now even in the Medoc and Graves (apart from the plateau of St Emilion. There is not much ripening happening now but the skins are getting thinner and easier to extract. There is botrytis in the vineyards that is for sure but most who have left it this late have well pruned the vines and green harvested to leave small bunches that stand alone (it is the clumping up of bunches that causes the rot to thrive).
Producers in the Medoc and Graves re now harvesting their Cabernets, later ripening with thicker more resistant skins. This harvest even for the Merlots was a late one, is there time for the Cabernets to truly ripen now the weather is truly autumnal?