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The 2014 vintage

A warm winter was starting the year. The spring was also warm with some useful showers in May. June were dry and beginning with a heat wave. July then got extreme, altering between hot and cold and with some heavy rains. August were rather cool and rather dry, but then September was terrible wet. Between Wednesday the 10th and Sunday the 14th circa 170 mm rain was falling, which was the start for the grapes to rotten. The weather after the heavy rain turned back to get very beneficial in October.

Grey rot or noble rot ?

After the heavy rain, growers started to panicking. Many of them harvested unripe and greenish grapes immediately, and we were advised to do the same. But since 2010 we have always withstood such proposals, because for Villa Sandahl unripe grapes are useless for wine production. Our philosophy is that grapes shall taste smooth and rich to give an acceptable and profound wine, and we decided to await ripening. The problem was that the grapes were in poor condition after the rain, and needed treatment, but all our cultivators let os down in favor for their other clients. At this point we run out of alternatives:
1) We didn't want to harvest unripe grapes
2) Our cultivators chosen other things to do
Our grapes almost succeed to recover, but after a month when they were almost ripen, much of the crop had in fact turned into noble rot, but to the least agreeable kind. (Just compare to 2013, when the grapes had first class noble rot.) Nevertheless, such grapes are normally useful for wine production, but Villa Sandahl never play with such risk, that our wines should have the least tendency to smell and taste from grey rot.

Are our wines too expensive ?
2013 we harvested 18 tons of first class grapes. Our yield at pressing is severe, but we manage to produce around 8 000 bottles. This year we harvested 2.2 tons and will best case get 1 300 bottles. Unfortunately, both years we have had the same cost for cultivation. This is one of the reasons that our margin must be substantially higher than for normal quality wines. The risk we take to produce ultimate quality, sometimes materialize and then we suffer substantially economically. In addition, one more permanent reason for higher margins are the severe yields everywhere along the wine making process, from low yield in the vineyards, to low yields in the pressing and severe declassification before bottling.
Fermentation completed

2014 we only used first class grapes from Genesis. We have two fractions from these grapes and the fermentation was completed in end of January without any kind of problems. The result is again typical Villa Sandahl high quality based, but with lesser alcohol of around 12 %, acidity between 6 and 7 grams per litre, and a residual sugar between 4 and 5 grams per litre. As usual, we monitor the fermentation and plot in excel, see diagram below (for more details, download the introduction power point slide).

The bottling was made in June, just in time for the Badacsony wine festival starting in mid July. The final result is what can be expected from such troublesome vintage, namely less concentrated as Villa Sandahl use to be, but with one positive surprise. In the processing of the 2014 harvest, we have been even more causal and meticulous than ever (as shown by above diagram). The result is subtleness and freshness at an unprecedented level.
The basic wine we call M.M.S. The label story behind is that our subcontractor cultivating our vineyards, completely disappeared after the heavy rain in September. Without help from anybody, the only way for Gunnel to take a photograph, was to make a selfie. (Click the label to get a high resolution image.)

The heavy rain took its toll, and the 2014 grapes got a bit diluted from the flooding, resulting in a bit more slender wines with lower alcohol level. To their merits there has been a very well performed wine making, resulting in extremely elegant and pure wines (note the low level of volatile acidity). M.M.S. is made from the ordinary fraction juice, and the most fresh and elegant. This wine has been ready for consumption from the day it was bottled.

See the QR code information

Tasting half a year after bottling (January 2015):

  • Color: Light yellow
  • Smell: Very agreable fresh fruit, Pear and apples. Some matureness has developed.
  • Taste: Surpricingly good balance between as moth acidity and certain sugar. Medium long after taste, fades with a clean feeling.
  • Judgement: A wine to successfully consume in the sunshine on a terass or garden alcove. There is no need for food to acompagny, but some inoffensive snacks would indeed support.
Analysis (OBI):
Alcohol: 12.4 %
Sugar: 4.5 g/l
Acidity: 5.8 g/l
Vol.acid: 0.33 g/l
Bottle: 750 ml
The premium wine we call sms. The label story is that Christer had to run around with a life buoy to rescue all people risking to get drowned in our vineyards. (Click the label to get a high resolution image.)

S.O.S. is made from the premium fraction juice, and a bit more robust and thicker than M.M.S. It need one or two years in the bottle to reach its optimum for consumption, but it is no problem to enjoy from 2016 until 2020. With this wine Villa Sandahl demonstrates that there is no poor vintages, only different arising characters, but with the expected high quality.

See the QR code information

Tasting half a year after bottling (January 2015):

  • Color: Light to medium yellow
  • Smell: The wine begin to mature and behave more grown-up. Nose-filling thickness of fruit, fresh and agreable. A lot of pears, honey and some dried fruit.
  • Taste: Mothfilling, lovely richnes and balanced classical Riesling acidity, more style than complexity, Long after taste of fresh fruit.
  • Judgement: A typical wine to accompagny food, like shrimps and lobster, and can even stand more tasteful food as crab and cod.
Analysis (OBI):
Alcohol: 12.4 %
Sugar: 5.6 g/l
Acidity: 6.6 g/l
Vol.acid: 0.24 g/l
Bottle: 750 ml