The 2014 harvest has ended. All the grapes are in the cellar and we can finally sigh with long-awaited relief. It’s a year to remember, characterized by uncertainties caused by the climate, by the large amount of work required in the vineyards, by the high costs, and by the waste of physical and mental energies that have all made this harvest difficult, but exciting.
Cultivating organic vineyards these days puts you to the test. It reenforces your convictions and teaches us that viticulture sustainability is the only possible way for the future.
But let’s move on to the scores, ranging from 0 to 10 for every grape variety. The scores will probably change over time. Evolutions in the aging process can be surprising, especially in the nebbiolo, but I base my choices on my first impressions and analytic data:
DOLCETTO score 6
The black berry grape has suffered the most and the reason is simple: it’s a precocious variety. The lack of a hot and sunny climate in the summer didn’t let the bunches ripen well. We’ll definitely have a less alcoholic and lighter wine, so whoever complained about the 14.5% vol. dolcetto might be satisfied :))
BARBERA score 6 1/2
Barbera loves heat and 2014 didn’t give it much sun. However, I think that the summer prunings this year may have been fundamental in reaching the right degree of ripening; if we could go back in time I would be even more drastic with the selection of bunches. At the beginning of September, I was honestly pessimistic about the quality of the grapes, but I think that the two tepid and sunny weeks in the middle may have saved this variety from a possible disaster. Its ability to recover from the delay accumulated in the summer months has surprised me. There are elevated acidities, but I think that the malolactic post-fermentation will be decisive for stabilizing an increase or decrease in my score.
NASCETTA score 8
The northern exposure of my nascetta, in a cold and rainy summer like this one, made me worry about an imminent disaster, but the nascetta has surprised me again: healthy bunches, thick and fragrant skins. This year made me understand how this late-maturing variety loves the cold and its nature is that of becoming a cool acidic mineral wine after aging. I expect a lot from this native Langa white.
NEBBIOLO score 8
Nebbiolo is a star just like real champions, who distinguish themselves in difficult matches. Crafty, almost indifferent during the rainy summer, this variety has always given me the impression of never suffering, even during the plenitude of great pessimistic moments. It has never given me a negative impression. I admit that the removal of the red tips of the bunches and the total pruning of the bunches was a risky, but spot on, choice. The nebbiolo demonstrated its strength, its ability to resist and improve its ripening value slowly and constantly. I would have liked to leave the bunches on the plant for another week to 10 days so as to have a exceptional phenolic ripening, but the weather reports for mid-October were bad, so I decided to close the harvest on 11 October. The score of seven and a half is cautious, but I think that the aging may easily pass eight. I’m an optimist.