The saying goes that “every cloud has a silver lining,” a maxim that, without a doubt, can be cited in the presentation of the new Finca San Martín Crianza 2017. It was a year that many local grape growers will remember for decades, as that devastating early-morning frost on 28 April significantly decreased that year’s grape volume.
Our vineyard in Torre de Oña was not spared the terrible consequences but, far from falling into discouragement, we decided not to give the whole harvest up for lost and focused all our attention on the utmost care of those parts of the vineyard that had not been affected. Favourable weather during the last week of August and all of September was particularly beneficial. The 50 mm of rain that fell at the end of August allowed the grapes to gain some weight and the vines to recover after a debilitating drought.
Until then, the grapes had substantial colour and high potential alcoholic strength but the quality polyphenols where not showing and, inside the grapes, green unripeness was prevalent. Fortunately, September arrived. Temperatures turned milder, it stopped raining, the northerlies kicked in and the thermometer dropped considerably at night. This is a hostile setting for the always feared grey rot, bringing, in addition, great benefits for Tempranillo. Alcoholic strength was tempered and there was an accumulation of colour, fine tannins and clean, intense aromas.
Ultimately, very good quality was reinforced by selective, staggered picking, and we decided to dedicate the whole of the production exclusively to a single wine, the new Finca San Martín 2017. It is a magnificent Crianza that stands out for its good balance and strong aromatic components, so typical of this uniquely privileged area of Rioja Alavesa.