We editors at Wine Spectator are putting together a global overview of vintage 2008.
In California it has appropriately been labeled a year of extremes – drought, hard frost, odd set, staggered ripening, heat spikes at harvest for some grapes and then, when all was said and done, a pretty good vintage in terms of quality.
If you were a grower or owned a vineyard that was slammed by the frost in April, 2008 was a disaster. The grapes that did survive were nurtured and cared for perhaps as well as any vintage. Some growers and winemakers were happy they had insurance to offset either the tonnage loss or lack of tonnage.
Assessing a year such as this is difficult. On one hand 2008 from a grower’s perspective and tonnage proposition could be viewed as fair to poor, but hardly average.
Quality is said to be very good to excellent and that’s about all most consumers care about. It’s impossible to tell what the small crop will have on future wine prices, as these wines are at least a year away from release in the case of varietals such as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, and another two years out for Cabernets and Syrahs.
And perhaps except for a few accountants with time on their hands, setting prices and computing returns for these wines is a long way from the top of most vintners’ agendas. Making it through the next few months is daunting and on the minds of just about everyone.
Kris Moe — Glen Ellen, CA — December 8, 2008 8:47pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — December 8, 2008 9:13pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — December 10, 2008 6:06pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — December 10, 2008 6:09pm ET
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