We have been making wine since 2004, during which time we’ve learnt a great deal, but we have to say that the 2014 harvest has taught us more than we expected to learn.
Nature is the true protagonist in charge of the destiny of our wine.
Our approach is to respect the land, keeping treatments to a minimum and working in the most modest way we can conceive: we do all we can to prevent intervention via painstaking canopy management, green harvest, bunch thinning, ruthless selection, I could go on….. but when nature calls the shots, products made in this way are of course heavily influenced. (n.b. this is our affirmation because we make wine from grapes – there are many other producers that are much better than us at making wine in the cellar, and of course they might therefore be able to call 2014 a good year).
The 2014 vintage is defined by the absence of classic seasons throughout the year. The summer was extremely unreliable, just ask the tourists or hotel owners: there was an incredible quantity of rain and not just that but from March to the early days of August the temperatures were significantly lower than usual influencing maturation. After a hot spell in August, the rain and cold returned in September. The Tramontana (Northern wind), our ally for a good vintage, didn’t visit as usual in September only giving us four or five days to save what was left.
Never before have we dedicated so much time and care to our vineyards, but the resulting harvest for the Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino is less than 40% of the potential volume.
We finished our 2014 harvest today and from the first analyses the alcohol is expected to reach around 13°, acidity (including malic) stabilised at 7.5g/lt with a sufficient level of aromatics and colour. Frankly a few days ago we thought it would be worse.
The 2014 harvest can be compared to 2002 and we were not yet making wine then. We were fortunate to begin with a run of splendid years (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010) and all the other 4-star vintages that were more than good. We are realists and knew that this had to happen at some point!
Never before has there been such a need to manage our communications. At the end of the day, our customers and the markets will be the judges in five years time.