Discover the 2015 harvest report prepared by prepared by Fernando Buscema, Technical Director of Bodegas CARO, and Eric Kohler, Technical Director of DBR (Lafite) International Estates.
A COOL SEASON FOR MALBEC
Budbreak was a bit ahead of time in relation to past years, while blooming, fruit set, and veraison happened when expected. Due to the fact that we had more rain than usual, the harvest took place a little earlier, especially in the Uco Valley area.
Malbec grapes achieved a remarkable balance between sugars, acidity, sensory and especially freshness during the current season. Regarding harvest dates, the first Malbec was picked on March 16 and the last one on April 18 (compared to March 25 and April 24, for the 2014 vintage).
THE MOST CHALLENGING VINTAGE FOR CABERNET SAUVIGNON SINCE 1998
In general, the conditions were similar to Malbec regarding budbreak and early harvest due to the climatic situation. Higher humidity required the work of winemakers to be extremely precise regarding the selection of clusters in the vineyard. Harvests of Cabernet Sauvignon started considerably earlier this year in relation to 2014, as the first lot was picked on March 19 and to finish on April 16 (compared to April 19 and April 29, for the 2014 vintage).
OUR TWO REGIONS :
Uco Valley, Mendoza
October showed some temperatures close to 0º C, while in November the temperatures were the expected ones.
On December 1st there was an unusual frost in the south of Uco Valley that affected part of the production of one of our grape suppliers. It also rained more than usual.
During February and March, the rainfall was significantly higher than the historic average (142 mm more) which created a higher risk of Botrytis. Due to this, some vineyard management measures were implemented, such as leaf pulling and cluster thinning in some specific blocks.
First Zone, Mendoza
The current season showed a similar pattern than the one observed in the Uco Valley in relation to higher rains and relative humidity.
Early summer was quite pleasant, and there were no spikes in temperature, as often happens during this time of the year. The nights were considerably cooler, which helped obtain very good fruit set.
Agrelo and Las Compuertas soils have a higher clay content than most Uco Valley vineyards. During this season, the more intense rains of February and March (189 mm more than the historic average) required a block by block evaluation to determine the right vineyard management for each one, as part as our selecting for elegance philosophy.
Overall, the yields were around 5% lower than during the 2014 harvest.