We can classify the 2019 harvest as an exceptional vintage for the quality of its wines. Curiously, it is climatically similar to the previous harvest, also remembered for its excellent results. In summary, it was slightly cooler than the historical average, with a normal volume of rainfall, despite the fact in December and January there were many days of high temperatures. It will be remembered as one of the best vintages of the decade since the favorable climatic conditions allowed the picking schedule with the desired maturity. Due to the shortage of rains in February and most of March, the health of the grapes was exceptional and the wines obtained both white and red, showed excellent quality.
Bud break, flowering and veraison of the 2018-2019 season occurred in regular dates, same as the picking of white and red grapes. Autumn was very long and unlike 2018, there was no incidence of frost towards the end of the harvest so it developed quietly until its end. Regionally and nationally, the total harvested volume was similar to that of last season, with a 1.8% and 7% lower respectively than the previous harvest.
The main characteristic obtained for our wines in Doña Paula’s different estates are:
Luján de Cuyo
White wines: Excellent health and aromatic purity with good yields. At first, ripening was delayed in 12 days, but after a few very warm days in February, aromas evolved to the more tropical aromas while maintaining an elevated natural acidity.
Red wines: This area presented lower yields compared to the 2018 harvest and to the historical average, especially in Malbec. However, other varieties such as Petit Verdot and Bonarda yielded similarly to the historical average. We can observe highly intense aromatic wines, blending floral aromas with red fruits and spices. On the palate, tannins are firmer than other vintages, anticipating an excellent ageability.
White wines: They also presented excellent health and great varietal purity from the aromatic point of view. The Riesling sources from high altitude vineyards shows great width in the palate and a good fat level enabling long-finish wines. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay show more mature aromas compared with previous seasons, being affected by those days were maximum temperatures were more elevated by the end of January and mid-February.
Red wines: Red varieties were not affected by warm days, showing conditions of a fresher harvest for its aromatic intensity and good natural acidity. In addition, because during this harvest we were able to wait for the optimum maturity of each variety for each type of soil, both the early harvested grapes and the ones picked later show great polyphenol concentration and good aromatic intensity. The varieties that stand out the most in the Uco Valley this vintage are Cabernet Franc and Malbec, showing great aromatic freshness, spices and firm tannins.
This year leaves behind the fact that there is no need for extraordinary conditions to obtain extraordinary wines in Mendoza. Both temperatures and rainfall are similar to historical averages; however, the produced wines are superlative. Possibly this is related to the learnings that viticulturists and winemakers are achieving year after year, highlighting the interpretation of each terroir and the search of the optimum harvesting moment for each variety.