With a warmer and drier than normal season, in 2014 the harvest has started sooner at the Peumo vineyard. The chief enologist of the estate, Marcio Ramírez, expects more fruity and fresher wines, with all the identity of the Carmenere from Peumo.
Definitely one of the most distinctive characteristics of the Peumo vineyard –located in the Cachapoal Valley, in the Sixth Region of Chile– is the carmine color of the vines in autumn. However, this year the leaves have change color earlier than usual.
“2014 has been a very unusual year; it has been drier and warmer. That is why the grapes have matured and the leaves have turned red earlier than expected”, says Marcio Ramírez, chief enologist of the Peumo vineyard.
The Carmenere grapes to produce the Terrunyo and Carmín de Peumo lines –listed in the ultra premium and icon segments, respectively– come from meticulously selected parcels of the Peumo vineyard.
During September 2013, in central Chile there were some frosts that affected early white and red grape varieties, such as Merlot, but “thanks to the fact that Peumo is an exceptional area and a vineyard in height, the frosts only affected the lower areas of the estate, and a large amount of grape were protected”, says Marcio, adding: “Also, Carmenere emerges later than other varieties, so when the frosts occurred the buds were protected because their shoots had not come out yet”.
In a normal year, says the enologist, the harvest of Carmenere in this estate takes place during the second half of May. However, due to the higher temperatures recorded during the grape ripening period, the harvest is happening almost three weeks earlier, beginning on April 25, and is estimated to last until May 20.
Another distinctive feature of the 2014 harvest, and the most notorious according to the enologist, is its speed: “The agricultural and enological teams had to be very attentive to when the grapes had to be cut, so that we do not miss the harvest date. All the days previous to the harvest we had to try the grapes in the vineyard, because if we would have been late for the harvest by 2 or 3 days, the scenario would be completely different and the fruit would have exceeded its optimum maturity”.
As for the yield, the harvest is expected to be in line with a normal year, and it is already possible to do some predictions from the wines that have been extracted: “You can feel a lot of fruitiness in the wines, and although this has been a warmer year, they will be fresher because we are harvesting earlier than usual. Also, you can feel more red fruit in the wines and they have a very intense color. In the mouth, these musts are quite concentrated and with the classic flavors of Carmenere, such as dried fig and caramel notes, indicating that this will be a very good year for this variety”.