A great ending to a tricky year
2019 En Primeurs: Teso La Monja (Toro), Viñedos de Páganos and Sierra Cantabria (Rioja)
Teso La Monja (Toro)
A roller coaster year with a happy ending
The winter was cold with temperatures falling as low as 8 degrees below zero, and heavy rainfall meant good reserves of water were accumulated. Unusually low temperatures in April, together with light rainfall recorded mid-month, slowed down the budding and growth of the vines, which accelerated once more with the high temperatures at the end of May. July was news-worthy too, a stormy month, sometimes with hailstone which caused minor damages in some vineyards. The end of July saw a return of the rains but combined with high temperatures which provoked a faster ripening process. The cooler start to September helped to improve the aromatic and phenolic ripening of the fruit.
The harvest produced small, perfectly healthy grapes which will undoubtedly result in splendidly balanced and expressive wines.
Viñedos de Páganos (Rioja)
Small grapes for great wines
Autumn and winter passed with average rainfall and temperatures. March started out extremely dry and cold, and April actually saw freezing temperatures which caused damage in vineyards in the area of Páganos. The thermometer dropped below zero again on 5 May, causing minor damage in the vineyards at higher altitudes.
Vines began to flower in the last week of May with variable, dry and cold conditions which led to a slow and irregular fruit set, meaning fewer grapes per bunch than in a typical year. Temperatures rose again in mid-June which significantly helped the growth of the plant and to complete the fruit set.
July brought high temperatures and hail which caused some damage whereas August was a dry and sunny month. However, thanks to the low yield and the even spread of rainfall throughout the year, the vines did not suffer from the dry conditions and the grapes ripened well. Rainfall towards the end of September brought with it the risk of Botrytis bunch rot which fortunately remained an unfulfilled threat.
Conditions meant that the harvest began early, although the yield was low. The small-sized grapes have created well-structured wines with a better acidity than in previous years and an outstanding aromatic quality.