The 2023 wines will be among the most age worthy. After the October and November 2022 spring frosts which provoked a generalized reduction in yields, the climate was very dry with temperatures slightly on the warmer side. Low yields resulted in a harvest 2 to 4 weeks earlier than usual. The wines are quite elegant, with high natural acidity and low alcohols. Powerful minerality and texture are this year’s trademarks. It will be a vintage to be savored slowly, enjoying every sip and every glass…in moderation.
Up until the early spring of 2022, the season was cool and mountain snow abundant enough that we could relax about having enough water. But then in October the rollercoaster started. Every rain would be followed by a drying Zonda wind and a sequence of frosts.
We had three frosts in October and then one in early November that affected all vineyard areas, from Patagonia in the South to Salta in the North of Argentina.
Although at first it seemed like the harvest would be delayed, the combination of low yields and slightly warmer temperatures in December and January led to a quickening of the ripening process. This resulted in most places being harvested between 2 and 4 weeks earlier than usual.
The effect of the frost was highly variable. In the Adrianna Vineyard, among the highest altitudes in Mendoza, thanks to the slope, we had almost no effect from the frost (we did light candles several times during the season).
Our Nicasia Vineyard in Altamira was mildly affected by the frost, with a reduction in yields which contributed to the power of the wines this year. Our vineyards that had the most dramatic reduction in yields were in the southernmost part of the Uco Valley, in our Angélica Sur Vineyard in El Cepillo, although the quality also, is extraordinary.
Flavors: typicity was accentuated this year, perhaps because of the lower alcohols and variable yields. Minerality is quite prominent, even in some of the lower altitude areas due to elevated natural malic acid throughout the wines. The key this year was to get the harvest time exactly right for each terroir, parcela and variety, and this, along with the frosts required many sleepless nights and weekends in the vineyard. Our efforts were rewarded by extraordinary, age-worthy wines, and for that we are grateful to nature. Salud!
On other exciting news, Dr. Laura Catena received in March the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from Meininger for her work in sustainability. She also received the “Old Vine Hero Award” from Our Old vines, for her longstanding commitment to promoting and protecting the future of Old Vine Malbec in Argentina. These recognitions, together with the “Woman of The Year 2022” from The Drinks Business, demonstrates Laura’s dedication to elevating Argentine wine for another 200 years.