Only 3 weeks from the end of the harvest season, Argentina has picked up a total of 2,169,740,335 kilos of grape until April 22, meaning a 23% reduction compared to numbers reported in 2011. In spite of this, Argentinian winemakers agreed that up to now, the health of crop is good and the concentration achieved for high-end wines is exceptional.
Roberto de la Mota, winemaker and partner of Mendel Wines, highlighted that the quality of the current crop is very good. “In general, yields are lower than those reached in 2011. Thus, red grapes have thicker skins, sourcing reds with great color and good presence of tannins. Although in some regions like Salta and San Juan where it has rained a lot, the grapes and wines that are obtained are also high-quality products.
For her part, Susana Balbo, winemaker and owner of Dominio del Plata stated: “this year, picking started 10 days before, and due to the yield reduction and the high temperatures registered in summer, it was necessary to pick up some plots earlier. In the case of younger vineyards, as they grew in production, they had a reduction amounting only to 10%, whereas older vineyards with lower yields presented a reduction ranging from 20% to 25%.”
In this aspect, Pablo Cúneo, winemaker at Ruca Malén, agreed about this reduction, and highlighted that there are varieties, like Malbec, that underwent a decline of over 20%. Nonetheless, he said that this drop will not affect the supply for domestic and foreign markets.
This way, Cúneo stressed: “this reduction and weather have made grape ripen slowly, giving birth to excellent-quality exponents. All red varieties such as Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, among others, offer great color and fruit concentration, displaying expressive wines.”
In addition, Dominio del Plata’s owner underlined: “in general, berries contain a high concentration of sugar, much higher than the one looked for, from the point of view of the tannins and aromas ripening according to the style we want to reach. As a result of this, we obtained more alcoholic wines. Therefore, this year we will rely on alternative technologies like the dealcoholising process to keep the balance.”
Likewise, Balbo pointed out: “this harvest is comparable to the one of 2009 in terms of yields, but in quality it is similar to the 2010 crop. Generally speaking, it is promising. I hope to crown it with sales.”
Translation: Carolina Lucesole