The 2013 harvest is characterized by optimal fruit set and normal yields. Overall cooler climate and cooler nights give us wines with bright acidity and aromatics, and the velvety tannins that come from a longer hang-time. Although these wines will have the necessary acidity and tannins to age, it might be hard for many to refrain from their immediate appeal.
After three years of low yields, 2013 brought us an average crop size. The Mendoza growers are pleased. Temperatures were generally cooler throughout summer and especially in early Autumn, leading to unusually high natural acidity (lower pH's) and relatively low sugar/alcohol levels - the perfect balance. Nights were cooler than average and harvest happened between 7 and 10 days later than usual, giving us bright aromatics in addition to the hang-time related velvetiness in the tannins.
We've been concerned over the lower than average amount of snow in the Andes and in the underground aquifers over the last two years. Although this season, there was more snow than last, we wonder if this is related to climate change.
The Catena Institute of Wine (our research branch) is preparing a multidisciplinary task force to address this topic with other wineries in Mendoza. Fortunately there were additional rains in spring which helped combat the dryness and gave us nice canopies and an optimal fruit set. Increased rain is also part of the climate change gurus' predictions.
ADRIANNA VINEYARD: Chardonnay, Malbec and Cabernet Franc - Gualtallary, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 4757 ft elevation
Adrianna is another jewel. As this vineyard enters its third decade, and we understand each row and each plant better, we marvel at the diversity of flavors and elegance of the fruit coming from this vineyard. It is hard to believe that thirty years ago no one thought that Malbec would ripen at 5,000 feet elevation. In Adrianna, which most years classifies as Zone I Winkler (Burgundy temperatures) we see the combined effect of altitude and sunlight. Because of the high altitude sunlight, we are able to ripen varieties such as Malbec and Cabernet, which wouldn't normally ripen in such a cool climate.
DOMINGO VINEYARD: Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon - Villa Bastías, Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, 3675 ft elevation
The Domingo Vineyard, planted in the early 90's, has reached a time in its life where balance is achieved naturally and seamlessly. The bright acidity that characterizes this vintage accentuates the cool climate characteristics of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in this vineyard.
Whole clusters are pressed, and then 100% fermented in 500 L French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures. Wild yeasts.
Total Acidity: 7.5 grams/liter
Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First, second and third use barrels used.