The 2016 vintage was certainly one of the longest-lasting in recent years.
Signs of the vegetative cycle being so long first appeared at the beginning of the season, when the mild temperatures and low rainfall in January and early February confirmed the trend that had already been seen during the first part of the winter. From the end of February throughout March, on the other hand, the temperatures dropped and there was plenty of rain, providing the soil with good reserves of water.
The “late” cold led to a delay in the restarting of the vegetative cycle which can be estimated at around ten days for all the varietals. Spring began with a considerable amount of rain, though it did not cause any plant disease damage, with average temperatures which were not too high, due mainly to low overnight minimums.
This phenological delay continued until the end of the Summer, which also began slowly but extended until the end of September.
The result is that all the grapes were incredibly healthy at harvest time.
The white varietals showed excellent aromas and good acidity due to the fact that there were no peaks of heat during the hot period. According this and also in consideration of the good sugar contents, the wines are well-balanced and a with good structure.
The early ripening red grape harvest began at the middle of September. On picking the Dolcetto varietal was in splendid shape and the wines produced are elegant, balanced and of great classic character. The Barbera grape acquired excellent levels of sugar due to the long period of good weather maintaining at the same time the varietal’s typically good acidity with the result of a very good balance wine that is rare to achieve for this varietal.
For the Nebbiolo varietal a full ripening was obtained both for technological and phenological aspects due to the fact that the late starting, seen in the first part of the year, was entirely recovered during the months of August and September. The quality of the 2016 Nebbiolo wines can be described with excellence balance, intense bouquet and great structure for a vintage which will be remembered for a long time to come.