6th November, 2012 by Rupert Millar
More reports from Bordeaux reveal a cautious optimism with the 2012 vintage now that the harvesting is, largely, over.
A report from CA Grands Crus said that because of the growing season, it had, “considerably intensified the selection process both at the picking stage and on the sorting tables at the wineries. 2012 therefore has produced very low yields throughout the estates.”
The low yields have been characteristic of reports so far although many producers seem happy with the quality.
There appear to have been some worries with the weather in the latter stages of the harvest and CA Grands Crus’ report does seem to indicate that Merlot may have fared better than Cabernet this year – although it adds that it is “too early to pass judgement”.
The report from Jean-Christophe Mau’s Château Brown notes that some of the Cabernet bunches were suffering from rot due to mild temperatures and wet conditions.
“The decisive factors in the 2012 harvest have been the quality of the pickers’ selection on the vine, then the ultra-selective sorting of the grapes in the winery – which the teams performed admirably,” said Mau.
Overall however the grapes largely appear to have come in, in “good” to “perfect” health.
Several Saint Emilion producers have already declared themselves “happy” with the year.
However as Mau added, to avoid harsh, dry tannins this year: “We will have to treat this 2012 harvest with empathy, nurture it really gently in order to get the best out of it.”
Reports on the white wines are more positive, with Mau calling those from Château Brown, “stunning”.
CA Grands Crus predicted thought that the quality of its white from Château de Rayne Vigneau were, “very promising”.
Meanwhile, the Sauternes harvest is not yet over but Rayne Vigneau is expecting a “lighter style of Sauternes.
“The first pickings produced some very fine batches which show promising balance. However the following pickings lead to think that the ensuing wines will have a lighter, more delicate flavour profile.”