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Vintage 2018


 Wines from Spain has released its 2018 vintage report detailing the performance of each region, with most reporting a return to average yields following a challenging 2017 harvest, which saw widespread drought and heatwaves impact production.

“After several dry, hot vintages this year the rain came to Spain and in some regions the rainy spell lasted until early summer,” the report said. ” It was also a much cooler year with more gradual vine development and one where intense work in the vineyard was often necessary to keep yields in check and vineyard diseases at bay.

“The harvest began later and, with the benefit of fine weather in most of the country, picking took place steadily and well into the autumn. Yields were far more generous than last year and this should leave Spain in a strong competitive position.”

In brief:

– Weather: a cooler year with far more rain; fine harvest weather for most regions.

– Regional highlights: a far better year for Ribera del Duero, Bierzo, most areas of Castilla y
Leén and Valdeorras. Record crops for Campo de Borja and Monterrei and more
generous for Rioja and Carifiena.

– Wine character: fresher wines with moderate alcohol levels and strong varietal character.

Wine of Spain estimates a harvest yield of 48 million hl (source: OEMV), compared with the 36-38 million hl that was reported in 2017.


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Written Notes

Full bottle 1,246 g. 100% Tinta de Pais (aka Tempranillo). Protos '27 was a cuvée made to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Protos (founded by 11 winegrowers in 1927). They've revived the original label from the first bottle that Protos ever released. The vines for this wine are around 50 years old, growing at 850 m above sea level in the Roa-La Horra-Anguix triangle on clay-based soils. Hand-picked, hand-sorted, a few days of cold maceration and then fermentation (using inoculated indigenous yeasts – the result of a 10-year-research project) in large stainless-steel tanks at controlled temps of 25 °C. Three weeks of fermentation and maceration with pigeage and remontage several times a day. 16 months in new French oak barrels and 12 months in bottle.
To call this a 'modern/approachable' style is to be both factual and do it a disservice. The fruit is dark, plush; it's ripe damson skins and roasted chestnuts, wild thyme and vanilla pod with a tiny sweet sherbety pop of wild mountain strawberry that makes your mouth fill with freshness and mouth-watering liveliness. The tannins have the aristocratic, superbly confident, yet nonchalant restraint of an accomplished rider astride a powerful horse, cantering, reins deceptively loose in one hand. It has ink-dusted shadows, brushed-velvet corners, a deep gleam to the inner structure like rosewood polished for years and years. You could drink this, easily, now, in five years, in 10 years. It's modern, approachable and timeless.

  • 90p

Ruby. Blackberries, some vanilla, liquorice, minerals, not quite graphite nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, anise, blackberries, again that deep graphite note that is sweeter, different than usual, different energy to it, long finish. It is easy to overlook what is going on in this one. 90

  • 90p
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Valladolid, Castilla-León
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