Bordeaux 2016 harvest – quality and quantity

13 October 2016 by (by Gavin)

Nature has been kind to Bordeaux this year. A bumper crop for many and a fine harvest – so far. It may be over for some growers in this vast region but there are many bunches still out there, as numerous chateaux hold on for the later-ripening Cabernets and, here and there, the last Merlots from cooler areas.

There has been no rush, no panic, to bring in the grapes. After the bone-dry summer, the vines enjoyed some overdue refreshment thanks to heavy rain on the night of 13 September. It cleared up soon afterwards and, since then, we’ve had dry and sunny weather for the build up to the harvest – and for the picking itself – with just one more night of rain on Friday 30 September during a crucial four week period.

Most importantly, given that we’re now well into October, is that there has been no pressure from grey-rot on the reds at all. At least, none that I’ve seen in the last fortnight, from St-Emilion to St-Estephe, and this has given viticulteurs and winemakers more breathing space over which parcels to pick and when.

Without wanting to jump to conclusions about the vintage while the grapes are still rolling off the sorting tables, it’s fair to say that there’s quality and quantity in Bordeaux in 2016.