The period of hectic activity in the vineyard and winery now seems very far away. Those times when we looked up at the sky praying for good weather, the supervision of tasks and equipment, and the picking of grapes for sampling. The harvest is a time of upheaval when a large part of the year’s efforts can be undermined by climatic conditions.
The latest harvest was one of the earliest ever in the history of Viña Lanciano, an estate which, given its nature and location, is the first to start grape picking in the Rioja Alta each year. This year, it started on the 4th of September with the Tempranillo harvest, and ended on the 21st September with one of our most interesting varietals, Graciano.
This year’s vintage was marked by complex climatic conditions. The severe spring and summer drought made it look like we were headed for grapes with high levels of alcohol and more delayed phenolic maturity. Thanks to the rain at the end of August, the plant recovered and this contributed to the development of a good balance of ripeness between sugar and phenolic compounds. Phenolic maturity is one of the key factors that influences grape quality given that it indicates the optimum level of compounds like tannins or anthocyanins that are responsible for the majority of wine aromas.
The good vegetative condition of the vine and its impeccable health have been fundamental to obtaining wines with very good aromatic intensity, and the suitable structure, colour and polyphenols for ageing.
It is worth highlighting that, in 2017, Viña Lanciano received 372 mm of rainfall, compared to an average of 444mm over the past seven years and an average temperature of 14ºC, compared to an average of 13.2ºC over 2010-16.
The overall assessment of the 2017 vintage is very positive with respect to the quality of the wines that have been made. This is thanks in large part to the exhaustive monitoring of the vineyard by our field crew, under the leadership of José Lopes, who practiced environmentally friendly viticulture throughout the year. From the start of September they were also responsible for carrying out the meticulous work of hand picking in small crates to avoid the inopportune breaking of the grape skins. Grapes that, very shortly after their arrival at the winery, undergo a double process of picking on tables by our selection team, that this year, once again, worked from sunrise to sundown to select the raw material that will constitute the future and possible Viña Lanciano, LAN A Mano and Culmen wines.
Now comes the time to monitor the malolactic fermentation in new French oak of the wines that come from the Viña Lanciano estate, to assess their evolution and potential.
Because it is #MuyLAN to take care of every last detail…