South America 2005 : Drink soon
Chilean wines show very good colour, body, and a particular lively fruitness
In Chile the 2004-2005 season started with spring a little colder than usual in most parts of the country. According to some reports, valleys in the central area were experiencing lower temperatures than in 2003-2004. There were some low rains in spring which affected low temperatures.
During spring there also were frosts in the Casablanca Valley, which caused damage to vines in some of the colder areas of the valley. Frost also appeared between Curicó and Molina, towards the coast, and in Romeral. The summer also proved to be slightly cooler than average, which delayed the ripening process.
Three major rains fell in the season but thanks to their distribution, they were of no great concern for growers. In most part of the country heavy rains fell on March 11 but the damage was minimal and had no effect on red grapes. Around 60mm fell on May 4, drenching plots of unpicked Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. However, the low temperatures of the month and the atmospheric dryness did not encourage the development of rots and the grape was harvested in good condition. The last rain was on May 9 – by which time nearly all the grapes had been harvested.
This season in South America , the slow ripening process under the warm summer temperatures helped producers to harvest grapes with a very good sugar/acidity balance, obtaining red wines with consistent fruit and good phenolic ripeness. And the overall cold weather conditions this year lead to grapes ripening slowly.