The 2015 vintage began with a winter marked by a lot of snow, providing the soil with an excellent supply of water. This factor, combined with mild spring temperatures from February on, brought forward the vegetative cycle, which meant that bud break was earlier than in 2014. The same can be said for flowering, which began towards the middle of May and was followed by an excellent berry set.
The season continued with a series of rainfalls between the end of May and the first ten days of June. From the second half of June throughout the month of July, there was no rain and temperatures stabilized to above-average maximums, with peaks at around 40°C and averages substantially above 30°C. However, the vineyards were in no way stressed by the heat, thanks to the plentiful water supplies which had accumulated during the early months of the year. The climatic conditions recorded at the beginning of the summer laid the foundations for the ripening of the grapes about ten days earlier than in the previous vintage, but in line with what we could call a “normal” year.
From the point of view of the health of the grapes, the vintage can be recorded as one of the very best of recent years, with no particular protective measures needing to be taken to limit the development of fungal diseases and, in terms of quantity, with a production above the average.
For the white grape varieties, picking began at the end of August for the early-ripening cultivars, and lasted until the middle of September for the later-ripening ones. The health of the grapes was excellent, and the very positive analytical data in terms of both the sugar and the acidity created wines with great appeal and structure.
The red varietal with early and mid-ripening harvest, like Dolcetto and Barbera, are the ones to have had the best positive effects from the weather evolution in 2015.The excellent solar radiation that allowed for a good accumulation of anthocyanins, combined with the cooler exposure of the vineyards of these varieties, produced soft and deeply colored wines. Looking at ripening data, specifically Barbera benefited from these conditions with encouraging results particularly on the side of balance: its genetically high acidity, broken down well by the physiological phenomena, is well integrated with anthocyanins, tannins as well as a very good sugar content.
The Nebbiolo ripened perfectly, though slightly earlier than over the last few years. In particular, the climatic conditions seen in the second part of the summer allowed for an impressive accumulation of polyphenols, that together with the excellent quality of the tannins will certainly ensure elegant, long-lasting wines with good structure, even if not rich in coloring substances. Anyway the good quantity and quality of tannins should guarantee stability in terms of color intensity too. With the ripening data at hand, the great balance that clearly emerges in the technical parameters goes well beyond the numbers, promising a truly great vintage to remember, like few others in history.