Cool spring temperatures and high wind conditions led to late bud break and a small quantity of poor fruit set. Very hot, dry summer (the hottest July on record) accelerated ripening of sugars and a need to pick most grapes by early October, earlier than generally practiced in the past 15 years. Night time temperatures were slightly higher than normal, as well. An even, warm, dry September helped balance the sugars/acids and allow phenolic ripeness/flavor development to occur. Colors in black grape varieties were deep, tannins developed quickly. Early frost hit vines on October 11, damaging 15% of the harvest. Overall, 2009 was a compressed harvest with little uniformity but good to very good overall quality with slightly higher than normal alcohol levels. White wines generally had higher sugars/lower acids as a result of the hot summer.
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