by Max Driscoll
In general, our Spanish producers report a fairly normal year, without the extremes of previous vintages. The only constant seems to be that it was a fairly dry year, though temperatures were not dramatically hot or cold. Drought is still an issue in many areas.
Emilio pita, at dominio de verderrubi in Rueda, has said that a little bit of frost and trouble early-on, combined with a dry summer, was all compensated for by great harvest conditions. His small parcel of Sauvignon Blanc was picked a little earlier than usual, but the Verdejo was all done as normal, under fine conditions. Quantity was down a little compared to average, but this is what Emilio is looking for, as he knows it results in excellent quality. Harvest conditions of warm days and cool nights allowed for great ripening and healthy grapes.
A little further east in Ribera Del Duero, Monica Peñas said that for the first time in a few years they had no problem with frost in the spring. The dry summer provided the perfect hydric stress just as veraison started. Harvest was done at normal times under perfect conditions; cool nights being key to good acidities, allowing for even ripening and a healthy crop. Quality is great, with lovely fruity juice, and quantity a little up on average.
The highlands, further west, seem to be a little cooler. Daniel Ramos is happy, saying the water table around the Gredos mountains has recovered a little since the previous years’ droughts, and this is helping the vineyards, especially the younger ones. Daniel is really happy with quality, as the acidities are great, especially for his garnachas.
A cool and dry year has meant a quiet year for Equipo HG in Arribes. Not many issues in the vineyard during the growing cycle and ripening as normal. Volumes are a little down, but nothing to worry about. Quality is good as harvest was smooth, without troubles. The Juan Garcia is the standout variety, with excellent acidity and balance.