“Regardless of each variety’s particular characteristics, 2016 promises to be a great vintage”

Jean Leon

16/11/2016

The year is drawing to a close and with it the harvest. After several weeks of hard work, all of the grapes have been picked. The days were long; hours of effort invested in a result that won't emerge for another few weeks, months or, in some cases, years. We talked to our enologist Xavier Rubirés to find out how the harvest went and get his take on the quantity and quality of the grapes picked in 2016, which we'll soon be bidding farewell.

How would you assess the 2016 harvest?

The drought was severe, and we saw significant water shortages, which forced us to push the harvest of white varieties (Chardonnay and Xarel·lo) forward. Merlot struggled the most. Thanks to rainfall in mid-September, the other varieties did fine and met our expectations.

So the drought was enemy number one...

Yes, absolutely. In the Torrelavit area, we only saw 245 l/m2 of rainfall since October 2015. Keep in mind that in a normal year, we would've seen over 500 l/m2. The result has been lower yields compared to other years, but the quality is excellent.

The climate is key...

Absolutely. The plant needs water, just like we do. If there isn't enough, the grape loses weight and is very concentrated by the time it reaches the winery. Extreme climate conditions produce an imbalance between two types of ripeness: skin ripeness (phenolic), which concentrates the aromas and compounds that give wine its structure, and sugar ripeness (technological ripeness). Among the tasks of an enologist is the careful analysis of the grape to ascertain the ideal moment to harvest and obtain a balanced level of ripeness throughout.

captura-de-pantalla-2016-11-16-a-las-17-11-24

So every harvest is different... What about climate change? Does it play a role?

Yes, every harvest is different. We notice tendencies every year, but we can't be completely certain that climate change is responsible. Over the past 20 years, for example, the harvest dates have been earlier and earlier, and we attribute that to a climatic tendency.

Which variety has produced the best harvest?

I'd say Chardonnay, the Cabernets and Petit Verdot. Merlot has been the most complicated.

How would you describe the 2016 vintage in general? Will it produce good wines?

Regardless of each variety's particular characteristics, 2016 promises to be a great vintage. The grapes were exceptionally healthy this year.

What about the Single Vineyard Wine vineyards. Are they treated differently at harvest time?

The monitoring of the entire process, from working the vineyard to making the wine, is far more thorough and manually oriented to ensure the highest quality fruit. During the harvest, the grapes are carefully sorted in the vineyard and then again before they enter the winery. Furthermore, we select the finest barrels to age and blend the wine.

Now that the harvest is over, what's the next step?

We still have a lot of work ahead of us. The grapes are picked, which means it's time to make the wine. We have to wrap up alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, rack the wines... Keep in mind that the last Cabernet, for example, arrived in the winery on October 21st, and we'll let it macerate with its skins for 15 to 18 days before vatting the wine. In contrast, you'll be able to purchase our 3055 Chardonnay and 3055 Rosé, the freshest wine range in the portfolio, very soon. The 2016 vintage will be available by late November!

We'll keep our eyes peeled and say goodbye for now. Thank you for your time. See you soon!

Thank you. Here's to wine and health!

 

Categorías: Jean Leon