After 9 weeks of temperatures more like the heat of the summer, autumn has arrived in Bordeaux with its rainshowers (27mm fell yesterday in St Emilion) and cloudy weather. It is now the turn of the Cabernets to be picked, and they are ripe (around 13° potential alcohol). (The first Merlots to be picked at the beginning of October are now approaching finishing their fermentation*). With the wetter conditions there is a rush to get the Cabernets in. On the cooler limestone plateau of St Emilion the harvest is just getting going in between the showers (Beausejour Becot). Valandraud still has its Cabernet Franc on the vines! Ausone has started.
*2014 Merlot from Vat, St Emilion Grand Cru Château Béard La Chapelle, St Laurent de Combes: Fruity aromas of plum and cherry, juicy fresh fruit, supple tannins, good colour
There is a lot of juice so there is a lot of saigné (liquid taken off in early fermentation rosé colour to concentrate the remaining juice on the skins). Some talk of reverse osmosis (and some talk of chaptilization which should not be necessary this year).