Harvest 2019 special report: Hacienda López de Haro and Libalis

OCTAVIO MADURGA
WINEMAKER AT HACIENDA LÓPEZ DE HARO WINERY

“The 2019 vintage has great potential to produce, balanced and structured wines for aging”

Satisfaction and expectation to see how they continue to evolve as greatwines after a vintage of “spectacular” quality, this is what Octavio Madurga, winemaker at Bodega Hacienda López de Haro has conveyed to us.

 

How would you assess the 2019 vintage?

With the evolution of the wines still pending, the harvest in Rioja Alta has been of a high quality due to different reasons but all of them conditioned by the spectacular year 2019, climatologically speaking. This year the vineyards were “underloaded” (few grapes) due to the lower stock vigor, and with loose clusters, which has allowed to have a very good sanitary condition and a good ripening, producing grapes, based on principle, with great potential for elaborating long-life, balanced and structured wines. However, it is true that alcohol content is slightly higher than previous years.

What has 2019 been like there climatologically? How has it affected the vineyard?

The most remarkable thing in Rioja Alta climatologically speaking is the low rainfall. During the months of December 2018 to February 2019 (resting state of the vineyard) it was significant and very positive for accumulating a water reserve in the soil, which the plant has been able to make use of during the vegetative period. From April to July rainfall was very scarce, which led to, among other things, the clusters of the 2019 vintage being small. Throughout summer, the year continued relatively dry and as a result, together with the dry spring, the grape did not grow too much in size, thus achieving a very good skin/pulp ratio and, consequently, concentrated grapes. In the month of September, rain slowed the harvest down a few days but that did not negatively affect the quality since the clusters were loose (thus avoiding botrytis). On the contrary, this was even beneficial due to the spectacular October weather where the grapes gained a lot.

How has the harvest developed?

The vintage 2019, came a couple of days early compared to 2018, within the range of “normal” dates, far from 2017 that was extremely early.

Can you give us any insight into the profile of Hacienda López de Haro wines in this vintage?

In principle, the 2019 vintage wines are looking very good. Grape ripening has been very good. They are quite aromatic wines (both white and red). The reds are high in polyphenols, mature (non-aggressive) tannins and good acidity which suggests that they will evolve very well during aging.

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VICKY GARCÍA · TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF BODEGA MAETIERRA

“An excellent vintage, so we are expecting our whites to be very aromatic”

Maetierra always kicks off the harvest for Vintae, this year on August 26, with a very healthy grape which, according to Vicky García, technical director of the winery, will give us fruity, floral and fresh Libalis again.

How would you assess the 2019 vintage?

The harvest has been very good in terms of quality, the condition of the grape has been unbeatable, the vineyards have had less load, aith a smaller amount of grapes, but excellent in condition. The harvest has been somewhat earlier than last year, faster and more intense.

What has 2019 been like climatologically there? How has it affected the vineyard?

The period in general was dry, so the grape has enjoyed unbeatable sanitary conditions.

Can you give us any insight into the profile of Vintae wines in this vintage?

Sampling allowed us to plan the harvest for the optimum ripening period, preserving the aromatic, acidity and sugar parameters so characteristic of our wines, to obtain very aromatic whites.

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