The grape harvest has begun in Bordeaux: Late last week, Chateau Carbonnieux, the excellent Pessac-Leognan producer, started picking Sauvignon Blanc for its highly regarded white wine. Decanter.com reports that last Thursday marked the beginning of what is expected to be a 10-day harvest of the variety, “followed by Sémillon around September 10, and Merlot in mid-to late-September.” The report notes that this is an earlier harvest than last year, and quoted Eric Perrin, Director of Chateau Carbonnieux, as saying that, “with both red and whites we are around one week to 10 days in advance of 2008, with a larger quantity and healthier grapes.”
Also this weekend, The Times of London’s web site ran a piece on the wines of Martinborough, New Zealand. This North Island standout, though often overshadowed by its more famous South Island neighbor Marlborough, is, nonetheless, home to some of the most remarkable wines in the country—particularly, the piece points out, Pinot Noir. And while the writer’s recommendations focus on wines that are available to his U.K.-based audience, the excellent Palliser Estate Pinot Noir, available here, is praised lavishly, and definitely worth a taste.