After a particularly hot and dry July, lasting until mid-August, by 22nd August night temperatures had started to dip. These conditions, together with a rainy spell around 11th August, gave a real boost to the thirsty young vines. In contrast, the older vines, with their deep-reaching roots, coped well with lack of water.

The grapes were quick to ripen, and the first young Merlot vines were picked 11th September at Château La Garde and Château Belgrave, almost in straight succession after the white grapes.

Harvesting has been underway on all our estates since 17th September, making this one of the earliest harvests in the last decade. The grapes were sorted rigorously on the vine, and again on arrival at the winery.  In addition, the grapes undergo optical sorting at La Garde, Rahoul, Belgrave and Reysson, densimetric sorting at Le Boscq and Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac, and by machine at Château de Ricaud and Pey La Tour. The grapes are vinified in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks.

While still too early to assess the quality of the wines, the musts from the healthy, ripe, flavour-packed Merlot are still undergoing fermentation. We remain very confident.

Stay connected for news of our Cabernet grapes …