Boschendal Harvest 2015 could be the best ever.
The 2015 vintage has been fantastic in the vineyard with very little challenges and could be one of the greatest ever, says Stephan Joubert, the DGB group viticulturist responsible for ensuring Boschendal’s award winning winemaking team is supplied with grapes of exceptional quality.
“It’s a fantastic vintage with wines that will probably age better than any other vintage. If I ever have to choose a vintage to buy wine to keep, this will probably be my first choice, I am very excited about the cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but actually most cultivars this year.”
From a scientific point of view, 2015 is ticking all the boxes. “This year we have had excellent grape analysis (TA – Total Acidity, pH), some of the best I have seen in many years. The TA (Total Acidity)was high with low pH,” says Joubert.
Boschendal Wines experienced an exceptional 2014 garnering a glittering array of medals at home as well as in the Americas, Europe and Asia and Joubert has even greater expectations for the 2015 vintage. “2015 has been one of the earliest vintages ever, between 2 and 4 weeks earlier than last year. We had a fantastic winter with enough rain and cold units, so we started with wet sub-soils which is very important for most vineyards in coastal areas, but especially dry land vineyards.” “Our Winter ended around mid-August when most of the rain stopped and the temperatures picked up quickly, ensuring a more even budburst, more even ripening and better quality.”
Although Spring and early Summer were warmer than average, there were fewer heat spikes compared to previous years and it has been one of driest growing seasons in many years, very healthy conditions for the vineyards and grapes.
“At this stage 2015 is really showing a lot of potential. I cannot wait to see the finished wines from this vintage,” says Joubert. “I think we are going to see very good quality overall for all regions and cultivars. Some exceptionally good wines that can compete with the best in the word!”
2014 Harvest report
The Cape Winelands had a very good winter in 2013 with lots of rain and steady cold weather thru out. This means that the vines enjoyed an extended rest period and could re-charge fully. With the good rain evenly spread over the winter and early spring we had an excellent build-up of water reserve which was fantastic for the un-irrigated vineyards and all our dams were full after one of our wettest years in decades (30% more rain than average). The cooler soils and cooler temperatures in spring lead to later budburst, but fortunately a very good and even budburst.
As spring was a bit cooler and wetter than the long term average the risk of diseases were unfortunately higher. After the cool spring we had unseasonal summer rain (mid November and again in early January) high in nitrogen which added to the vine vigour and to the very high risk of botrytis and other fungal diseases. Fortunately most growers were able to manage this pressure with no damage in crop or quality. Farmers had to work extra hard up to veraison to manage canopies for good light penetration and optimal grape quality. The rain in January was very good for all the un-irrigated vineyards as it replenished water reserves. Fortunately this rain was followed by warm and windy dry weather spell keeping most of the vineyards healthy.
The temperatures for the ripening period was a bit higher than the long term average, however most of these warmer days were then cooled down by very consistent cooler evenings and sea breezes in the Coastal Areas. The summer weather on average was consistent with other years but we had only one 3 day heat spike (heat wave) in mid Feb compared to 2 or 3 of these spikes in many other years. The night temperatures were definitely cooler in January resulting in better colour formation in red varieties and lower ph.’s overall.
Overall we can describe the 2014 vintage as good vintage.
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