Vintage report 2018

Castilla-La Mancha

DO La Mancha

The harvest in DO La Mancha was between 15-20% up on last year depending on area and was described as generous compared to recent years. Fruit quality was good across the wide range of grape varieties grown, red and white, with fresh acidity and balance thanks to cooler temperatures and slower ripening compared to last year. The harvest was much longer finishing in mid-October.

2018: Figures not yet available from DO authorities

Catalonia, Majorca and Eastern Spain

DO Catalunya

It was a much more typical year for DO Catalunya in terms of volumes and harvest dates and although there were isolated cases of hail and spring frosts they did not impact significantly on the final result. Fruit quality was described as “very good” at the point of harvest and alcohol levels are a little lower than last year.

2018: 49.7 million kg; 12% up on 2017

DO Penedès

Unlike last year the harvest came relatively late in Penedès and it was more generous despite some unpredictable weather. As the report from Miguel Torres states, this included higher than average temperatures in the April-October period compared to other Catalan wine regions.

Torres described “slow and steady” ripening in general and there was satisfaction with the final quality despite having to contend with some outbreaks of mildew and botrytis due to fresh and humid conditions in the run-up to harvest.

Grapes generally ripened well and Torres highlights “optimum ripeness” for Chardonnay, Tempranillo and Moscatel de Frontignon this year.

2018:  52 million kg

DOQ Priorat

The harvest was more generous in Priorat thanks to generous rainfall and a favourable growing season which was without any major complications.

Joan Sangenís of Celler Cal Pla described 2018 as “a bit strange” after a series of much hotter years for the region. He said: “Mid-summer was much fresher than usual so we had slower ripening but it was good; it reminded us of how it was in the past here.” He added: “The fruit quality was very good – very balanced in terms of structure, flavour and acidity”. Sangenís said that all varieties ripened well this year, especially Garnacha.

The report from Bodegas Miguel Torres also described a very positive vintage with steady vine development and, unlike many years, less vine stress and “perfect ripening” thanks to more moderate summer temperatures and better water reserves. In summary Priorat wines are likely to be quite different in style from this vintage compared to those of recent years.

2018: Figures not yet available from DO authorities

DO Montsant

Volumes in Montsant were slightly up on 2017. Red varieties represented over 90% of the crop, led by Garnacha and Cariñena.

Total: 7.4 million kg

DO Binisallem (Majorca)

The harvest drew to a close in DO Binisallem on October 5th. Manto Negro, the leading red variety, was the last to be picked along with (red) Moll and Moscatel.

Significant rain during August and September made this year challenging for growers and it was important to select grapes carefully in both the vineyard and the bodega to ensure quality in the final wines.

2018: 1.6 million kg

DO Jumilla

Miguel Gil Vera at Bodegas Juan Gil described 2018 as a “very different” year with far more rain and fresher weather influencing the outcome in the vineyards and the character of the wines from this year’s harvest.

He described the spring as “almost ideal” and good summer weather, however the autumn saw far more rain than usual in the region which led to a challenging vintage. It was also a long harvest lasting until early November. Gil said: “We had to do several harvests in the vineyard and we selected fruit carefully in the winery but we got good fruit on the whole. The wines are less structured this year, with less balsamic notes and less alcohol than usual.”

Production levels are generally around 20-25% higher than last year for the region.

2018:  60-70 million kg (approximate figure)

DO Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

Jerez saw more plentiful rainfall this year with an unusual amount of rain over the months of March, April and May. Temperatures were lower than usual in early summer with few days featuring the typically hot Levante breeze. Vine development was relatively slow as a result and the harvest started a little later than usual on August 23rd.

As the last Palomino grapes were picked around mid-September there was general satisfaction over quality despite some challenging weather this year. The crop was also fairly generous, up 8.6% on 2017.

2018: 81 million kg

January 2019 – Report compiled by Patricia Langton for Wines from Spain