Like many years, the 2022 growing season in Washington was marked by several close calls that had us biting our nails:
- Freezing temperatures in Winter and Spring threatened to damage both vines and vulnernable young buds. Luckily, our vineyards suffered only minor damage which effected overall yields but not quality (more on that later).
- Periods of unusually high temperatures during the summer months threatened to cause faster ripening that we’d ideally like to see and also created the potential for damaged fruit. However, vine growth simply stalled due to the heat and ripening was delayed…an almost ideal outcome that pushed ripening out later into the year.
2022 also gave us some gifts that created the potential for superlative fruit:
- The quantity of fruit on the vines was unusually high in many areas of the state. This allowed us the opportunity to be extremely selective with pruning and we were able to be ruthless in deciding which fruit looked best, cutting less than ideal fruit off the vines.
- Growers and winemakers alike hope for an extended season, allowing for full ripening and flavor maturation…and we got exactly that in 2022. The weather cooled in September and remained steady for most of the month of October, allowing us to allow fruit to hang on the vine without having to be concerned with over-ripeness. We had made it past the final hurdle.
2022 seems to have captured our favorite aspects of both “warm” and “cool” years. Now that the dust has settled from harvest, we can reflect on how the unique conditions of the vintage made it a unique year and influenced both the quality and character of the young wines resting in barrel:
- The wines have fully developed flavors with moderate alcohol levels.
- Flavors are intense, but also fresh, marked by savory spice notes and “cool” fruit profiles.
- There is terrific freshness because of vibrant (yet moderate) acidity.
- The wines display weighty textures without seeming overwrought.
It’s still early in the life of these 2022 wines. But, as January comes to a close, we are growing very excited at the development of the wines from this special vintage.