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Eduardo Hernáiz from Hermanos Hernáiz talks with Robert Hunter from Vinergia about the difficult vintage 2022 at Finca La Emperatriz, D.O.C. Rioja
“A complicated vintage, due to the heat, with so many days of temperatures up to 40 degrees. This has made the grapes suffer, the plants have suffered. Even now, when it should be cooler, the last two nights were cold, but September has been warm. This means that ‘technical ripeness’- the sugars that will give us alcohol – has advanced fast as it depends on heat, but phenolic ripeness, which gives flavour and aroma to the wine, is not so advanced. But you cannot wait any longer to harvest, so we may end up with wines which lack phenolic ripeness. And what is important for wines you want to age, for the freshness of the wines, the acids have been burnt off, and the grapes have quite low acidity.
Here the vineyard hasn’t suffered so much. People often ask us why we have irrigation in the old vines, and the answer is precisely for years like this one. We were shocked by 2003 and 2013, so we installed irrigation. This year we have had to make use of it for the old vines, which means that the vine doesn’t suffer too much, but aromas and acidity are not as well balanced. The next few days will be good for the reds, the nights are getting down to 7 or 8 degrees which really improves the phenolic ripeness.” Robert Hunter interviewing Eduardo Hernáiz, 19th September 2022
Watch the video here