Winemakers were relieved to see the first heavy rainfall in Bordeaux this week after enduring particularly dry weather in July and August. As we reported in our last blog post on the 2010 vintage, weather in the South of France and the Rhone has already kindled expectations of a mixed vintage, as vines have increasingly shut down due to water stress. On Monday, however, Decanter reported that Bordeaux might be facing a similar dilemma and that “desert-like” growing conditions in the region were tempting consultant Jacques Boissenot to advise top Left Bank properties (including the First Growths) to risk harvesting unripe grapes.

Merlots in Pomerol, he said, were worst affected by the dry weather, having already been weakened by uneven flowering. And though the hardier Cabernets were fairing better, Decanter reported that both grape varieties were showing very high degrees of potential alcohol. (Read the full article here.)

To everyone’s relief, however, the rain finally arrived on Monday night. Respite from the dry heat has since prompted some gratified tweeting from Chateau Palmer:

“6 mm of water last night after such a dry summer : excellent for the 2010 vintage!”.

“Sunny this morning after 8 more mm of rain since yesterday. Excellent.”

Showers are expected to continue through Thursday. And with the harvest just around the corner, hopefully the rain will not overstay its welcome…