We finished the harvest Saturday 19 October and have been carrying on with ongoing work in the cellar
We finished the harvest Saturday 19 October and have been carrying on with ongoing work in the cellar.
2013 was a hard year. We had a very long winter and a rainy and cold spring, with difficult periods due to severe flooding. By the middle of May, however, the conditions improved: we enjoyed a beautiful hot summer and an excellent autumn, which allowed for the vines to regain some of their late vegetative growth, and a good maturation of the grapes.
We have now racked the wines for Dolcetto d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba and Langhe Nebbiolo, while the Nebbiolo grapes that are destined to become Barolo are still macerating on the skins where they will remain for about another month.
Even if it is early to pass judgement on this year's vintage, my first impressions are very positive. The wines are fresh and fruity, with lots of colour and a good persistence in the mouth. Acidity and alcohol are both well balanced. I don't think that the wines of 2013 will be overly complex. Rather, they will be lovely to drink while still relatively young (notwithstanding that 'young' for Barolo means not younger than 7 or 8 years from the harvest).
All in all, I can say that I am satisfied. I will certainly remember 2013 both for the great worry that it caused us during the difficult spring conditions, when everything seemed to point to a disastrous year, as well as for the immense satisfaction of seeing the grapes healthy and perfectly mature during the harvest.
I remember the words of my grandfather Saverio, my great mentor in life, who used to say, "The race finishes on the last lap; the grapes are harvested in autumn."
Some data from the 2013 harvest:
Dolcetto grapes, harvest began 25 September, finished 26 September, average sugar level 19.5% BABO (BABO measures the specific gravity or density of the grape must), alcohol after fermentation 12.5% vol.
Barbera grapes, harvest began 17 October, finished 18 October, average sugar level 20.5% BABO, alcohol after fermentation 13.5% vol.
Nebbiolo grapes, harvest began 14 October, finished 19 October, average sugar level 21.5% BABO (fermentation not yet complete at time of writing)