The Ashenfelter paper shows that winter precipitation is an important guage of vintage quality. A nice, wet winter prepares the soil to ensure the grape vines have just the right amount of water during the long, dry summers.
The chart below shows the winter of 2010/2011 accumulated precipitation totals for both Albemarle County and Bordeaux. Bordeaux (BDX in the graph) ended the winter just above normal precipitation wheras Albemarle County (ALB) looked like it was going to end up in the same territory. But a bit of early spring caused the precipitation totals to end up well above normal precipitation.
So, as we head towards the summer growing season the 2011 Vintage for Cabernet is, at the early stage, on track.