May 21st, 2019 | Harvest
Galician weather is always difficult to predict at the best of times – for example, at this very moment we are experiencing some significant shifts of temperature, sometimes within the very same day. Our vines are certainly quite advanced for the time of year, and in some small pockets we are already seeing the onset of flowering. This could equate to a harvest at the very beginning of September if the weather behaves as it should. Vamos a ver (we will see).
However, the reason I am writing about alcohol is actually because of what happened during the summer of 2018. After poor spring and cool early summer the 2018 vintage was largely saved by a late burst of sun and warmth in August and early September. So much so that the final, very rapid maturation of the fruit actually took many by surprise, and at least some of the resulting albariño grapes were picked with between 13° and 14° potential alcohol!
Of course, here at Castro Martin we always to our very best to retain the typicity of our grape and our denomination, but even we struggled to pick all of our fruit before it ‘overcooked’!
Last week we racked a number of our 2018 tanks, removing them from the lees. The first step following this is to have every wine analysed, running tests for every parameter including stability. The results were all very good, with the key elements exactly at the correct levels in relation to one another, meaning that the wines are well balanced. The only slightly a-typical aspect was the alcohol, with a couple of wines just touching the 13% mark (not perhaps for the very first time, but certainly not within the last 17 years that I have been in Galicia).
We will need to adjust some of our 2018 labels accordingly.