As in South Australia, drought conditions lowered yields across Chile in 2019. As a consequence, smaller bunches have produced concentrated, generous fruit. Coastal areas were able to retain more acidity thanks to the cooling ocean influence.
A good vintage for both quality and quantity was welcomed across most of Chile. Much-needed winter rainfall replenished water levels, followed by a dry, slow ripening season that allowed good flavour accumulation with low disease pressure. Early indications are that 2018 will be the best vintage Chile has enjoyed for several years, with varietal character particularly noteworthy in white wines.
After severely damaging fires that raged across large areas of southern Chile in early 2017, the grape harvest started early in 2017. A generally warm year has produced ripe fruit flavours which can be jammy in some reds.
An El Niño year generated an unusual amount of rain, especially in Casablanca, Rapel, Maipo and Colchagua. Red varieties were most affected, as the worst of the rain came after most whites had been harvested. The result is a 25% reduction in yield and very variable quality. The only saving grace may be lower alcohol and fresher acidity in the best wines.
A very early harvest after higher-than-average temperatures throughout the seasons translated into lower acidity levels, requiring attentive handling in the winery to achieve balance.
Widespread frost caused crop loss of up to 70%, but what remained made very good quality wine, showing plenty of concentration and complexity.
Cool weather that was better for later ripening varieties – so Carmenère is especially promising. Early ripeners such as Sauvignon Blanc were less good, with unripe characteristics.
A cool vintage, thanks to La Niña. Grapes were universally healthy at harvest, and yields were up to 18% higher than average. Quality is good, with impressive varietal typicality.
Another cool year, with many whites recording very low alcohol levels. Elegance and balance are keywords, in a similar style to 2010.
The year of the earthquake, which struck Maule and Curicó on February 27. Mercifully, the growing season was already late, allowing producers to recover as best they could in time for harvest. Overall it was a cool year, best suited to varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Warm and healthy for whites, with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay both achieving good quality levels. Certain red varieties suffered from dehydration again – Merlot most notably – and alcohol levels were high.
A very cold and long winter, leading to considerable frost damage. Summer was then very hot and dry, leading to widespread drought. Dehydration was a problem, especially in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Harvested roughly 10% less than usual. White varieties had good natural balance, and there was little call for acidification. Reds were moderately lighter in alcohol than average, with high acidity giving a particularly fresh style. For a more detailed analysis of this vintage, click here.
Moderately cooler than 2005, and generally healthy in the vineyard at harvest time. Rounded, balanced tannins with modest concentration made reds better for short or medium term cellaring, but not long term.
Outstanding, with a long growing season and mild temperatures. Quality was much admired across all varieties and regions (although some Chardonnay in Casablanca suffered from moderate rot).
Far more challenging than 2003, with a cold winter and some hard frosts. Nevertheless, quality was good, thanks to a hot early summer followed by cooler conditions towards harvest.
Conventional, undramatic weather across the country. Quality is excellent across most varieties and regions.
Extensive rain and rot damage in the south, but was dry and healthy in the north, albeit with yields up to 25% below the norm.
A hot, dry summer with making concentrated reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère.