Following from our news earlier in September that Bordeaux is braced for its lowest harvest since the early 1990s, word has emerged that the picking of the Merlot grapes has begun early. Chateaux across the Medoc including Latour in Pauillac and almost all the classified estates in Margaux have decided the danger of rot has become too much.

Reports suggest that the picking started in the last week of September and the Cabinet Sauvignon harvest is expected to follow suit in the coming days. The threat of thunderstorms in the next week has been widely reported by the press and one must infer picking has started early to minimise any damage.

The careful selection and low yields of Merlot mean that winemakers will be confident of obtaining a certain degree of phelonic ripeness although it seems the entire 2013 vintage will be a challenge.