Bordelais remain upbeat about harvest

3rd September, 2013 by Rupert Millar

Bordeaux producers have confirmed that an abysmal flowering has lowered yields but remain upbeat about the potential quality of the year.

Lafite-harvest-season High copySpeaking to the drinks business at a tasting held by The Perfect Cellar, reports from attending producers confirmed reports from Bordeaux that coulure had affected yields significantly, particularly for Merlot.

Consultant and winemaker, Eric Boissenot explained to db: “From the end of 2012 until June it was very wet which slowed down the vegetation cycle and a rainy June meant flowering was delayed.”

The early flowering Merlot in particular was badly hit by this bad weather, which Boissenot described as, “classic”.

Pascal Amoreau of Château le Puy said his Merlot yield may be down as much as 60%.

The excess of water also meant that vigour had been a problem this year, with vines growing and producing leaves rather than grapes.

Boissenot added that it was difficult to accurately judge potential yields because millerandage meant there were lots of bunches, just no complete ones.

Despite the awful start he continued that excellent weather in July and August had rescued the situation a little.

With temperatures touching 40° centigrade at times, “it allowed the vines to get rid of water in the soil.”

“It could still be a very nice vintage, but small,” thought Diana Garcia-Gonzalez, winemaker at Château les Ormes in Saint Julien.

Boissenot concluded that a provisional date for the start of the harvest would be 6-8 October but it was all dependent on September’s weather.

“It all hinges on September,” agreed Garcia-Gonzalez.

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