Even if we are only beginning May, the harvest seems to have happened a long time ago. In normal years, we would still be harvesting the last blocks, but this has not been a normal season. It has been the warmest vintage of this century, together with the 2009 vintage, considering the vegetative cycle of the plant (October to April). On the other hand, the rainfall during summer, even when it was close to the historical averages, it occurred in few high intensity episodes, so dry days predominated, with low relative humidity.
These climatic conditions favored a fast accumulation of sugar in the grapes, so that the harvest was ahead one week in average for the white grapes, and between 2 to 4 weeks for the red varieties. This rapid accumulation of sugars made us fear for the evolution of the polyphenols (tannins). For our surprise, besides having excellent sanity in all our grapes, we achieved an optimal polyphenolic maturity, so we can assure that the obtained wines are of outstanding quality.
The season began with a slightly delayed sprouting, but within normal dates (September 29 for Malbec of Luján de Cuyo). For flowering, the cycle began a few days earlier (November 4) and for veraison, which occurred on January 13 for the same variety, the cycle was ahead by 5 to 7 days. This advance was much more pronounced during the maturity of the grape, especially in the last weeks of February and the beginning of March, due to the low rainfall and high temperatures.
In the following graph, we can clearly identify that November, December, January and March were warmer than the historical average, especially the latter, which average temperatures were superior by 2.5 °C. Meanwhile, October, February and April presented temperatures close to the historical average.
The rainfall recorded during the season (October-April) was slightly higher than the historical averages (319 mm vs 286 mm), however its distribution was very uneven, since there were two rainy months (November and February) while the rest of the months were drier than the historical average. Especially the month of March presented only three rains when it is normal for there to be between 5 and 11 episodes.
Luján de Cuyo
Whites: White wines presented very good varietal tipicity in general. In the case of Chardonnay, we could find very nice natural acidity and a lot of freshness, while the Sauvignon Blanc presented citric and tropical aromas, maintaining an elevated natural acidity.
Reds: Red wines present a nice color intensity; aromatically they have a lot of fruit with a presence of spiced and herbal notes unlike other years. In the mouth, the tannins are very soft and round, but with a higher concentration that we are used to.
The White wines of the Uco Valley present an exceptional quality that we will remember for a long time, particularly given by a great aromatic expression and a large volume in the mouth.
In the case of Riesling, this year we have in addition to its typical honey, citric and mineral notes, and intense jasmine aroma. It has a long finish on the palate.
For Sauvignon Blanc, we worked with different picking timings so we have aromas that go from mint, rue and peas, to lime, grapefruit and white peach, presenting wines that offer plenty aromatic intensity and good volume in the mouth.
As for the Chardonnay, we also worked this variety looking for the perfect combination of freshness with exuberance in the aromatic profile, so that these wines show citric, tropical and mineral notes in the nose, with great unctuosity in the mouth.
We obtained wines with a lot of color and an aromatic profile that is fresher than previous years. They present notes of red and black fruits, very mineral, and minty notes as well. In the mouth, they show a balanced acidity and an optimal polyphenolic concentration.
The varieties that stand out the most in the Uco Valley this vintage are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, with great aromatic freshness, plenty of spiced notes and firm tannins.
The 2020 vintage will be remembered as a special harvest for many factors: the very warm weather and its effects on maturity, which reduced the picking time by 4 weeks. In addition, for the presence of Covid-19 and all its consequences in the way we work and the stress it had on people on the uncertainty of its propagation. To this day and with the digging out of the tanks finished, fortunately we have not had any cases in the company.
This year, the meticulous coordination of the winegrowing and winemaking teams facing a good volume of grape to vinify and considering the capacity of our cellars, allowed us to overcome the challenges of an early harvest and process every grape in its optimal maturity stage, all this in the light of a harvest master plan.
Finally, the wines obtained have been, so far, surprising for their fruity expression and concentration.
Winemaker and Viticulture Director