The date for harvest is always crucial as we aim to pick the grapes when they are ripe in terms of aroma development, but retaining good levels of acidity. As we commented last month this year has been one of the wettest and coolest vintages that we’ve ever seen, which meant we had to keep a close eye on weather reports to avoid heavy rain showers causing rot or dilution prior to harvest.
In the end, 2018 was a scramble as hot weather during the second week of September accelerated ripening, giving us two days to pick grapes that were ripe in terms of skin maturity before rain – and botrytis – could threaten the health of the grapes.
The team pulled out all the stops, harvesting by hand in record time to bring in Macabeo with potential alcohol levels of 12.5-13.3% and Garnacha with 13.4 – 13.9%.
For Fernando, 2018 will be a great year for cellaring:
“This vintage will be marked by rain, nearly 700l has fallen since January in an area that usually sees 390l in the whole year. We saw moderate fruit set in Garnacha, with loose, less compact bunches that are perfect for making quality wines. A temperature interval of more than 10ºC and plenty of sunshine meant that the grapes ripened slowly and we harvested the top parcels at exactly the right moment for producing wines with pure fruit character, natural acidity and firm tannins. These will be structured wines, more austere than the accessible 2017 vintage, but wines that will reward those who wait with elegance and complexity.”
In DO Campo de Borja, the cycle was delayed by two weeks but the quality was also very good with 14º potential alcohol and perfect phenolic ripeness.
We are now busy in the winery, making sure that we get the best out of such fantastic raw material using our new equipment: a vibrating sorting table, breathable concrete tanks and Garbelotto casks, allowing us to ferment our top wines- including the epic Jardín de las Iguales – in oak.