2017 Wine Harvest, a difficult year.

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Healthy chardonnay grapes, left, and sunburned ones. Photographer: Elin McCoy/Bloomberg

January is as good a time as ever to deliver bad news, and many European countries are taking time adding up the tallies of the previous year’s grape harvest and reporting yield’s down as much as 25%. Adverse climatic conditions in 2017, including heavy hailstorms and hard frosts in the spring as well as drought in the summer, caused considerable damage to vineyards all over Europe. The result, most of the wine-growing regions in Europe are had a very low harvest for 2017.

Italian wine body Assoenologi estimated that Italy would see one of its smallest wine harvests for 60 years in 2017, down by 25% on last year, that’s a reduction of roughly 5.5 billion bottles. Things are not much better in France where they have had the worst harvest since 1945, according to France AgriMer, an agency that works with both the industry and government. Wine production to fall by 18% on 2016 after spring frosts ravage vines, but hot summer could deliver top vintages – meaning price increases across the board for low yields but higher quality fruit.

The outlook in Europe’s other large producer is not much better with Spain’s output dropping down 20% from 2016, and in Germany the estimated vintage is down 12%. All in all 2017 proved to be a difficult year in Europe.

Despite wild fires in both California and Oregon the north American harvest is likely to be similar to last year. South Africa saw very small increases in yields, about 1.4%.  In South America, both sides of the Andes were affected to varying degrees by the shift from the wetter El Niño  weather system to the drier conditions associated with La Niña weather system. In Mendoza, Argentina yields were down about 30 percent compared to normal. And in Chile yields were down about 22% due to drought and forest fires. New Zealand also experienced a drop in yeilds by about 9%. Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand winegrowers, attributed the smaller harvest of 2017 to wet weather over the summer season. Australia was the only country to undergo modest yield increases at roughly 5% despite a tricky vintage.

The conclusion is that unfortunately the price of your favourite wines will probably increase this year a wineries increase excellar prices to try to cover lower quantities produced.




Welcome back to some old Friends.

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We’re delighted to welcome back some old friends the lovely wines from William Cole Vineyards. William Cole Vineyards lies deep within Chile’s prestigious Casablanca Valley—often called “Chile’s Burgundy.” This cool climate vineyard near the coast, which is comprised of over 129 contiguous hectares, provides a long, warm growing season with cool nights to develop excellent acidity. Owned by Bill Cole and family, the winery specializes in cool climate varieties, and the wines are crisp, clean and complex. We have welcomed back the 3 wines above along with a great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but today we’ll look at the Bordeaux varieties.

William Cole ‘Colombine Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014 €17.95

The nose has inviting citrus and tropical fruits followed by notes of peach and white flowers. The palate is fresh and vibrant with crisp lime and citrus flavours over some nice white peach. Excellent cool climate white.

William Cole  ‘Colombine Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 €17.95

This Cabernet Sauvignon has a ruby colour of great depth and intensity of black fruits predominate, such as blueberry and blackberry, with some notes of oak spice. The palate has a round silky feel that is bristling with black currant and damson, fine grippy tannins give and excellent long finish. Great paired with lamb.

William Cole  ‘Colombine Winemakers Reserve’ 2012 €17.95

50% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot 25% Carmenere. This wonderful blend employs Chile’s “Signature” grape Carmenre. The boquet gives hints of walnut, all spice and red pepper over concentrated cassis and redberry. The palate is juicy with nice oak notes and flavours of tobacco, strawberry and rich blackberry. The tannins are smooth and integrated perfectly, giving this wine a long distinguished finish.