This vintage at Menade has been the earliest that anyone in the Sanz family can recall; and the lack of rain, together with the heat, have resulted in a shortfall of some 30%, with the total volume of grapes harvested between our various vineyards and varieties amounting to 1.295,000 kilos.
Given the unusually high Spring temperatures as well as such a hot summer, not to mention the drought, our wines will consequently be characterized by their richness and ripe fruit – along similar lines to 2016 – and in contrast to the fresh, citrusy styles of earlier, cooler years.
Pronounced minerality will also be an important element of their make-up, reflecting the nature of our terroir; and so, as ever, they will represent and reflect the natural expression of this (challenging) vintage.
In addition, and despite said complications, we’re delighted to tell you – on the basis partly of on-going lab analyses and partly on the rigorous tasting of our many batches during different stages of fermentation – that these will be wines of impeccable balance. This we attribute not only to our most specific and respectful natural vineyard practices, one element of which was our discreet and most selective irrigation at various stages of plant development throughout the cycle and which this year often involved treating the irregular behaviour of different parts of individual vines – never mind taking into account the individuality of our multifarious plots.
With all this in mind, you may well not be surprised to learn that we were the first winery in Rueda to harvest: specifically with our Sauvignon Blanc, kicking off as early as August 16th – our objective to obtain a relatively modest alcohol level of 12-13°, good acidity (6 grammes a litre of Tartaric) and a PH of 3.2/ 3.4.
Our many individual batches have at this point finished their spontaneous alcoholic fermentation(s), and as per the above are going to be dense, flavoursome and mouth-filling with a predominance of ripe fruit flavours but agreeable counterbalancing salinity and vibrancy too.