Thanks to a relatively steady and mild July and August and then a series of warm days at the end of the growing season, vineyards were able to progress to perfect ripeness. Privacy Policy, By continuing to use our Services and/or submitting the above information, you agree to our use of cookies and the terms of ourPrivacy Policy, Welcome to winemag.com! The effects of low winter rainfall were mitigated by the combination of cool daytime temperatures and evening marine fog. Cool to moderate temperatures, broken by a brief heat spike in early July, extended the growing season — ideal for concentrating fruit flavors and maintaining desirable high acidity. This is one of the many reasons that Napa Valley wines are so consistent vintage-to-vintage and acclaimed for their high quality in the bottle. Indian Summer returned with warm, clear days and vineyard crews sprang into action to finish harvest for what appears to be a vintage of exceptional quality from all points around the Napa Valley. An unseasonably warm winter with substantial rainfall launched the 1996 growing season with an early bud break. This was a vintage of contrasts: contrasts from previous vintages, and contrasts from early predictions to final outcome, yet winegrowers adapted to changing conditions all along the way to finish with what was an outstanding vintage. The 2002 vintage will be remembered by a long, mostly mild growing season, followed by warm weather near the end of September that pushed the ripening level upward, concentrated fruit flavors and condensed the harvest. The relatively cool growing season coupled with the unexpected heat spikes in late summer resulted in a late and shortened harvest with lower yields. Both quality and quantity were good for all varietals in all growing areas. Clusters, as well as individual berries on the clusters, though set at a normal quantity, were notably smaller in all varieties due to the dry season. An abnormally wet El Niño spring and late summer caused a poor set for the 1998 vintage crop. View our full Wine Vintage Chart to see which bottles should remain in the cellar, ... Napa Valley. Yields were generally consistent with 2010 — down by 10%. Top Five Questions Regarding the 2015 Vintage, Early harvest yields high quality wine grape crop. This vintage, while as much as 30% higher than the past two years' smaller crops, is on par with near-normal quantity. In Napa Valley, things were very different. A Labor Day weekend heatwave kicked harvest into high gear, then cool weather allowed sugar levels to return to normal. 2014 Napa Valley – Vintage Report. We think these brief descriptions are more useful than a numerical score. The summer months were cool and pleasant with few heat spikes. One of the most misunderstood vintages of all time is the exalted 1982 in Bordeaux. A Classic Vintage for Napa Valley from Start to Finish. Read the full report and FAQs about the 2014 harvest. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. The first grapes for sparkling wine picked on July 30 and nearly all harvest activity was completed by the third week in October – for many, a full two weeks ahead of the normal harvest schedule. 2012, 2013 and 2014 are the best string of vintages in Jordan winemaking history; most Sonoma/Napa winemakers would agree. We can't wait to see how the flavors of the 2012 Napa Valley harvest reveal themselves. Then, within the same week that many had been irrigating for frost protection, vineyards were irrigated because of a multi-day heat spike that brought early season temperatures into the triple digits in many parts of the appellation and at the time that vines were beginning to flower, another time when fruit and vine development is particularly susceptible to extremes. Vintners were excited about what they were tasting from the vineyards--concentrated flavors that will materialize into elegant, structured wines, almost European in style. As vines all over the appellation were budding, the sheer number of days of frost threatened the future of the crop. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies and the terms of our, Each year we put together one of the most comprehensive wine vintage charts, you know which bottles to drink, what vintages may need more age, wine vintages are best to drink right now. The moderate temperatures were optimum for grape quality. Growers held on as acid balance eventually caught up. Couple that with the lack of frost and the mild, relatively cool growing season, Mother Nature managed to have it all work in unison to give vines and grapes the best scenario possible. Growers here, year-in and year-out, bring an average of 4 tons per acre to crush overall, which is consistently half the California state-wide average. The 2010 vintage was a cooler year producing more elegant cabernets, while the 2011 was so cold and rainy, that many winemakers struggled to make balanced wines. In 2018, Wine Enthusiast tasted, rated and reviewed 24,753 wines. Some growers reported losses of thirty percent or more. Thank You! Summary: Bordeaux 2017 was marked by devastating frosts early in the growing season.That said, en primeur tastings showed there is a lot of pleasure in this vintage if you know where to look. Finger Lakes, New York Vintage Chart. Find ratings for recent vintages of California Cabernet Sauvignon and blends from Napa, summing up the quality and character of the wines. A long, cool spring gave way to a mild summer. Early budbreak, followed by prolonged bloom induced by cool weather, caused uneven set, requiring cluster pruning in some varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon was the seventh most planted grape; there was more than four times as much Petite Sirah.Almost nobody was shooting for greatness; the top winery in Napa (Christian Brothers) made non-vintage … There were also notably fewer days in the 90s, and harvest followed a traditional, even relaxed, pace. Popping open a bottle of wine shouldn’t be a shot in the dark. The drier soils prompted vines to push out early, providing the "perfect storm" for frigid, dry air to create conditions for the deepest and longest frost period in decades. Vintners were crushing Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir and Merlot virtually one atop the other. 2015 Napa Valley – First Impressions, Antonio Galloni, June 2016. A cool, even growing season throughout, except for a three-day heat stretch of unusually high temperatures in June and ominous rain clouds in late August, led to a compact harvesting period that finished in mid-October. Napa Valley Merlot Vintage Chart. Soaking spring rains during bloom reduced the size of the crop somewhat, but the long, warm summer that followed allowed grapes to ripen uniformly and achieve near-perfect fruit maturity, acid levels and sugar content. 2014 Napa Valley – Vintage … The damage was variable site-to-site with many vineyards reporting no sunburned clusters at all. While per-acre tonnage was generally lower than average, the overall yield of the entire Napa Valley appellation was average to above average. The 2006 harvest finished in early November and will go down as a 'grower's year' as vintners were faced with a variety of challenges from New Year flooding to wet weather that continued late into spring delaying budbreak. VINTAGES P opping open a bottle of wine shouldn’t be a shot in the dark. 2016 — (94-97) — Not Released. They are by necessity general in nature, but can help consumers make good choices when faced with unfamiliar wines. Then, a week-long heat spell over the Labor Day holiday ratcheted everyone into high gear as several varieties were coming to ripeness all at once. Wines from the 2016 vintage are now quietly developing in cellars throughout Napa Valley and vintners are pinching themselves and smiling for the gift it appears Mother Nature has given them: a fifth consecutive vintage of stellar quality Napa Valley wines. Mold, rot, and botrytis were challenges to the grapes that were not harvested, and had a major impact on the quantity of the harvest, but not the quality. Perhaps the most notable natural occurrence of the year was the devastating Valley Fire that broke out in Lake County to the north in mid-September. Tracking these key stages plays an important role in the planning of the season and harvest logistics. That’s why we also compile an annual cheat-sheet showing what wine vintages are best to drink right now. As grapes for sparkling wines began to be harvested in mid-August, the lighter white varieties began in earnest toward the third week of August. Cool weather dominated early October, with rain coming in the first week, but the white varieties were in and this presented no damage to the black varieties still on the vine. A dry, long sunny summer allowed for the earliest harvest in more than 25 years and an overall ideal growing season. A long, cool spring followed by a cool summer produced slightly lower grape yields of richly concentrated fruit. While it can tended to be on the greener side, the cool weather helped the vines work more efficiently and produced a beautiful vintage of this varietal with black cherry and plum, not any pruney character. Below, find the charts and link currently available on three wine review … But growers were rewarded with weeks of fantastic weather, a prolonged Indian summer that provided needed ripening time. During the growing season, clusters also were subjected to uneven ripening and threatened with sunburn, sending growers into the vineyard, performing more hand manipulation of the vines and reducing crops. 2013- A Dream Vintage. The harvest was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, beginning on July 22 with the picking of grapes for sparkling wine, and concluding for most all vintners and growers in the valley by mid-October. California Zinfandel. Welcome to winemag.com! Temperature fluctuations have a significant e˛ect on grapevines and grape development and therefore influence the character of the vintage. The 2015 growing season in Napa Valley started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring. These charts also includes quality ratings and drink-ability evaluations as wines age to help consumers decide when the wine is best to enjoy. After a consistently cool summer season, significant mid-October rain pushed the vintage even later. An unusually cool August changed the course of what was shaping up to be another record-early harvest for Napa … Because of the early vine development in spring, growers were initially predicting a very early harvest, however because of the cooler summer it started just a little ahead of normal. Mother Nature may have lightened the load in the vineyard, but what's being revealed in the winery is very well structured, concentrated, elegant wines. The light rain events in late September and early October had no effect on the grapes or the harvest in Napa Valley. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. With only one heat spike recorded in the first part of July, the 1999 vintage ripened under conditions that allowed a long hang-time that resulted in fruit of concentrated varietal flavors with a strong backbone of acid. A cool spring was followed by intermittent rain during the May bloom period, causing shatter in many vineyards and reducing the potential crop size. The vintage chart and harvest reports provided by the Wine Scholar Guild gives you the ranking for every French wine region and vintage from 2000 to today. Average Score: 97 pts. There was a brief period of heat that spiked around Labor Day, but the temperatures cooled after several days. The world's most trusted authority in wine for over 30 years. The first rounds of thinner-skinned white varieties like Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and then Chardonnay for still wines began in late August and continued into mid-September. Mid-July presented a record-setting ten day heat wave, but the canopy had not yet been thinned because of the delayed season and young clusters were shaded from the hot sun. The hottest May on record and the third hottest June (in total degree days) led to a harvest time around two to three weeks ahead of normal. Top off toolbox this holiday season with great deals on Craftsman tools, now available at NAPA. California/Pinot Noir. Overall, the grape crop was balanced, showing excellent intense colors and flavor concentrations. Napa Valley's winemakers remain committed to upholding the region's reputation for making some of the world's finest wines and early articles about the 2017 vintage describe the wines with words such as "finesse," "great complexity of flavor" and "elegant.". This resulted in an early bud break and bloom. With the exception of one heat spike in late June/early July, temperatures were consistently in the zone for optimal vine activity, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. Napa Valley received only a trace of rain from April through October, leading to extremely clean fruit arriving at the wineries. Warm, nearly perfect conditions arrived with an Indian Summer making for a later than average harvest, providing winemakers with fruit with extended hang and ultimately realizing excellent sugar development and balanced acids with a larger than average crop of what could be a signature vintages from Napa Valley. Andrew Jefford, award-winning wine journalist for Decanter Magazine and author of twelve books on wine including The New France has compiled information and written the vintage charts … This 2018 Napa Valley vintage chart depicts the high and low temperatures for each day of the growing season, as well as yearly rainfall and key stages of the growing season. Heat spikes occurred in June and at scattered intervals throughout the summer season. Quality looks very good with lower alcohols, good structure and length on the palate. February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in spring and early summer. Though a second budding occurred, the fruit set was thin and uneven. Fortunately, the summer season continued with cooler, consistent temperatures. The near-perfect 2016 growing season started early, saw ideal weather conditions throughout and wrapped up as the valley's first significant fall rainstorm arrived on October 14. you should buy the 2012 Napa Cab or the 2013. check this list to see if your year is listed, and which of the vintages at their peak had the best grapes. My first tastings from barrel suggest that Napa Valley's producers have a highly promising vintage on their hands. This effort hit it out of the park and speaks volumes about the collaborative efforts, innovation and leadership of the Napa Valley wine industry. Grape quality was excellent, with intense flavors off the vine, although some varieties experienced sunburn and required selective picking at harvest. In some years winegrowers must feel like baseball players in the batting cage swinging at whatever Mother Nature throws their way, and for vintage 2010 in California's renowned Napa Valley this was the case. To aid in your vinous adventures, ... 2020 VINTAGE CHART United States Region Wine Variety 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 Napa Chardonnay … Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. Rainfall returned after three dry years, pushed bud break, flowering and fruit-set back by at least two weeks at the front end of the growing season, and due to the cloud cover, there was no frost damage in 2010. The Vinous Vintage Chart, also available on the Vinous App for iOS and Android smartphones, contains vintage summaries back to 1961. Initial reports all the way around are finding vintners and growers delighted with 2009—from Albarino to Zinfandel to everything in between. Grape quality was very good with a crop that was smaller than average. Across the whole state, wine quality looks good for 2018 in California. 2 Gifts for the Price of 1! The summer brought cooler than normal temperatures, where constant vigilance and rigorous canopy management averted mildew or pest problems. The long, warm summer saw very few extreme heat events, with foggy mornings setting the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. Unbiased, professional tasting notes, reviews, articles, videos, daily news and much more. Somewhat cooler weather arrived in August and continued throughout harvest, allowing for moderately paced and deliberate ripening and a long harvest period. In 1961, Bordeaux was having one of its best vintages ever. The folks at California Wine Club do a great job sourcing the best of California's aged cabs. Though rainfall was little more than two-thirds of normal for the third year in a row, the timing of the precipitation was on the vine's side. The prospects for all varieties seem very promising, with intense and complex wines in prospect. As a result, winemakers worked hand-in-hand with vineyard crews and also employed new technologies, like optical sorting, to ensure they picked and crushed only the best quality grapes. California Syrah, Napa Vintage Chart. August cooled to near perfect temperatures with cool nights, allowing the grapes to settle and extend the all-important hang time on the vine, producing remarkably clean fruit. Fog and cool temperatures were a concern heading into September as sugar levels were yet to rise in all varieties. Yields were were average on a per acre basis, however, with numerous post-phylloxera vineyards coming on line, the year's overall tonnage was up noticeably. 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