The vintage of 2014, a brief review

2014, Vintage report

Weather during the vegetative cycle

March this year was rather hot and dry, preparing us for an early vintage year,  while April, the month of budburst and May the flowering month, were rainy, but both with normal temperatures. June was rather cool and so was July. But at the 22nd of July a strong hail occurred destroying a great part of leaves and grapes. The damage was of different size in each vineyard.
Luckily for us August was dry with normal temperatures, which helped heal the wounds caused by hail.
September was a month full of rain and as a result we had the harvest delayed for all varieties. Same weather conditions happened till the 5th of October. Fortunately between 5 and 15 of October the sun came out and that gave us the chance we needed to harvest a well matured Xinomavro.

Phenological Stages

Most of our varieties began their cycle normally at the beginning of April. The last ten days of May all of the vineyards were flowering predating a rather normal year!  But veraison was delayed at least ten days for the white varieties while in Xinomavro even more, it was completed in late August. As a result, harvesting began 5 to 20 days later than the usual (depending on the variety).
We began the harvesting at 28 of August with Malagouzia and finished mid-October with the last vineyard of Xinomavro.

What we did this year

The year of 2014 was one of the hardest that we encountered so far. Increased atmospheric humidity and continuous rainfalls as well as the hail during July were the best conditions for all diseases to thrive, so we had to keep our eyes open the whole time and take really good care of the vineyards. Even so we had our production decreased due to mildew and then hail, and in some parcels the damage was more than 60% (mainly on white varieties). In red varieties the damage was between 30-50% but in the end, it worked out positively in this difficult year creating loose bunches which lasted till the end and matured properly without getting affected by botrytis.

The high lights of the year

•    Quick development of new leaves after the hail, which assured the correct maturity of the low production of our plants.
•    Skin bitterness in red varieties (stress sign) till the end of September but also a very good potassium absorbance which was beneficial in the case of Xinomavro plants (very good pH).  
•    Medium to low extraction of anthocyanins in the parcels picked up at the end of September, relatively good extraction in those vintaged in mid-October.
•    Very intensive aromas and a nice acidity in all our varieties due to the rather cool temperature during veraison and maturity.

The 2014 vintage evaluation   
White wines: Very good acidity, strong and typical for every variety aromas and an excellent body. Probably one of the best vintages of Argatia’s white wines

Red wines: Negoska this year had a relatively weak color and low acidity with a high pH and not a strong smell. Mavrodaphne had a really strong color also with low acidity and high pH but the typical smell of Mavrodaphne.

Xinomavro: As we harvested in two times period (we did one vintage in the end of September and the rest in mid-October), the result was quite different. We had intensive fruity aromas in both vintages, but also some flower aromas during mid-October’s harvest. The second vintage had also stronger color and excellent acidity with a good pH. Soft tannins, in both harvests, with a lower alcoholic title in the early one and a typical alcoholic title in the late harvest.