was the "most challenging vintage since 1995" for New Zealand brand Villa Maria, according to viticulturalist Mike Croad.
The company's winemaker, Alastair Maling MW, and viticulturalist
Oliver Powrie, said after a hot, dry summer
was "hit by a flurry of heavy rainfalls at the tail -end of the vintage".
The 2008 harvest report continue d: "This meant an early harvest and the pressure was on the Marlborough team as we picked 20% more grapes than
predicted - and in record time."
The company then had to find
tank space for
the extra juice, but describes the result as "intense with excellent flavour profiles".
Louis Latour's European market manager
agreed the Marlborough vineyards were ripening early
and said this produced "some of the most intensely flavoured and beautifully structured fruit we have seen".
New Zealand Winegrowers' director Warren Adamson added: "Generally the feedback
positive. It was a more buoyant vintage, 39% up in volume. We had a fantastic tail -end from January through to March, and I haven't heard any comments about poor fruit."