That is to say, I've been repeating myself for about three weeks:
Question: when are the grapes coming in?
Answer: Merlot, probably early next week. Cabernet, probably 1 or 2 weeks after the Merlot.
A few years ago, our son Gabriel was born just before our last pressload of the 2003 harvest. This year, it looks like we'll be celebrating his birthday near the FIRST pressload (of Bordeaux varietals, that is). Yes, it's a late harvest and we just received our first measurable rain of the season which doesn't help with anxiety issues. It sure is pretty, though.
Normally, October is a perfect month for ripening grapes, so it's probably not a big deal that it is this late. As I've mentioned before, it squeezes all of the potential "issues" into a narrower band for success. It's years like this one that help define a growing region as some places may never ripen properly. It's that way with frost-prone areas, also. A grower may have tremendous success for years and then a few years of hard frost will redefine that success. I imagine there will be some that do some serious re-thinking after this vintage.
It's really amazing how much fruit is still out there, mostly red varietals. It's a little like a lazy teenager with a everyone waiting until they get out of bed.
WAKE UP! Let's get this party started!