Although it is a cliché in the wine industry to say that every year is different, the weather conditions during this vintage have been particularly exceptional and have conditioned both the work in the vineyard and the subsequent production and ageing of the wines.
The main meteorological characteristics of the vintage have been the intense heat and the extreme drought since mid-May.
The vintage began with a very warm and extremely dry winter. In fact, it was the second driest winter on record. However, as the vines were dormant, the only effect this had was to bring forward the bud break dates. The drought was compensated for by a very wet spring, which allowed the vines to develop properly during the first months of the cycle.
The problems began in May, when the rains stopped and an almost permanent heat wave began that lasted until the grape harvests.
The summer has been the hottest since records have been kept, with successive heat waves and a total absence of rain, which has made the vines suffer extremely in order to complete their annual cycle.
The health of the vines has been impeccable. However, the effects of the heat and drought have been felt in terms of quality, as there were hardly any resources to achieve an acceptable ripening. This has led to certain imbalances, the most notable being low acidity without having reached the sugar level corresponding to technological maturity.
Yields have been reduced compared to a normal year. The scarcity of water resources and high temperatures have limited the photosynthetic activity of the vines so that the berries have been small in size. The result has been a lower pressing yield and a high skin to pulp ratio, which has allowed for an acceptable extraction.
In short, this is a vintage with low production, moderate alcohol content and low acidity, which will limit the wine’s ageing capacity. In general, young wines and short crianzas will probably be the best options.
Bienvenido Muñoz Pollo