The Sangiovese grapes for the production of the Brunello di Montalcino, after a vinification at controlled temperature that lasted 15 days, have arrived at the end of their cycle.
Before everything, the first pressing of the wine is removed, after which the pomace, together with a part of the wine, is sent to be pressed.
In the two glasses, there is the same wine, before and after the filtration, which is done in order to obtain limpid wine to be utilized for routine analysis.
As one can see, the filtered wine has a rich, nice color and in a not easy vintage like this one it is the synonym of healthy grapes that have arrived at ripening with high levels of extractable anthocyanins.
This year, some of the barrels that we have acquired were in need of being "recleaned" inside.
As a norm, our estate refurbishes all of our barrels every 5-7 years by removing 3-5 mm of wood that has been consumed by the wine and that has given up its tannins and therefore does not have any more to give.
With this refurbishing, the barrel returns to its ability to yield tannins, not like a new barrel, but certainly at 70%.
After the work has been completed, the barrel is washed with water and potassium metabisulfite. And then it is filled with Brunello di Montalcino wine.
The corks that we utilize are chosen with our supplier directly in Sardinia in his facility. The batches chosen undergo an initial organoleptic and chemical exam to check for TCA (Trichloroanisole) in the internal laboratory of the cork producer and by our trusted laboratory.
Once the control phase is completed, in our laboratory we make another organoleptic exam by cutting the cork into 3 sections and placing it in a hydroalcoholic solution for 48 hours in a closed container.
When the cover of the container is removed, the odors can be smelled and we caculate the average to understand the percentage of corks that have problems.
If the batch of corks is not in conformity with our standards, it is recorded and substited with another batch which then undergoes the control.
Yesterday we have finished repassing through the vineyards and picking the last bunches remaining. As I had anticipated already in August, the harvest of the 2012 Sangiovese has given unexpected results, given that for many this was supposed to be a negative vintage.
It has not been so.
The first wines that are coming out not only have an excellent color but also very good acidity and pH.
With great pleasure I am tasting the wine that is coming out from the grapes from our historic vineyard I Paganelli (harvest date: September 20-22) and I can say with satisfaction that here we don't have good quality. I am convinced that we have excellence.
We have worked very hard in the vineyards. But it was the "Old Vine" that did not disappoint our expectations even this year, a difficult vintage because of the heat and drought. It has given the impassioned admirers of our wines yet again an excellent product.
Now that the harvest is over and we take stock of the vintage, our drop in production has been greater than 25%. But the great quality has in part compensated us for the loss in production.
We must think and encourage all the producers of Montalcino to think about the necessity of utilizing with intelligence the possibility of emergency irrigation which in vintages like this one (and if you think about it you know that more vintages like this will come) would have made a lot of difference.
Think about it, producers of Montalcino... think about it.
By mid-June, the flowers on 90% of the vines had wilted and the grapes had begun to increase in size. Despite the fact that the weather has not been favorable, we have had an alternation between minimum and maximum temperatures going back and forth and days of good weather alternated by days with rainfall which creates conditions favorable for the development of fungal diseases.
However, the vineyards are healthy, the grapes are too many, and we have already planned that there will be a strong green harvest. In order to produce excellent quality, the work of the green harvest is fundamental for us.
As happens often in order to have tranquility for us and for our beloved clients, we make a sample monitoring of the corks searching for cork problems (T.C.A.).
We have cut into slices 30 corks and we have soaked them in an alcoholic solution (alcohol and water) for 24 hours at 30° C.
After this, we have smelled the odor to understand if there was a problem of cork.
We have not found any odor of cork and this is a sign that our friends who supply us with corks from Sardinia have done a good job and have given us excellent corks to seal our Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino.
The owners of the Tenuta Il Poggione estate, the Franceschi family, are always concerned about the environment. And so they have decided to install on the roof of our cellar a solar panel system that will satisfy the electrical consumption of the cellar and the surplus energy produced will be "sold" to the Italian power company ENEL.
Solar energy is a clean and inexhaustible resource and solar energy technology offers the advantage of directly transforming the light of the sun into electric energy without producing harmful emissions.
In this way, we do not use combustible fossil fuel and we also lower the emissions of poluting gasses into the atmosphere.
We can say that starting today, thanks to this technology, the carbon footprint of the wines produced by the Tenuta Il Poggione will be even smaller.
We are now harvesting the Sangiovese grapes in the central zone of our estate next to our farmhouse/agriturismo (called the "Capannacce") in the "vigneto delle olivastre" (the "vineyard of the wild olive trees"). These grapes will be used to produce our Brunello di Montalcino. The grapes are at the correct point of ripeness and also have ripe seeds.
The vines have held up well to the heat of a summer that does not wish to end, as can be seen in the new vegetation.
During the hottest hours of the day, we continue to have temperatures up to 28° C. (82° F.), while during the night the temperatures descend to as low as 16° (61°). The bunches still have turgid berries.
In the cellar, the must from the Sangiovese harvesting the day before yesterday is fermenting and we have already obtained good color.
Yesterday, 5 September, we have continued the harvest, picking the Sangiovese with which we will make the IGT Toscana.
The seasonal progression is stable. The rain that fell in the North Italy did not arrive in Montalcino and it stopped on Mt. Amiata where it rained yesterday. A rainfall in the vineyards would have surely been useful, but one cannot command the climatic progression and we must take that which comes.
The temperatures of yesterday have been maximum 29.2° C. (84.6° F.) and minimum 19.3° C. (66.7° F.).
As is illustrated in the photos, the solids have been removed from the Vermentino and Sangiovese Rosè (the impurities, the mucilage, pieces of the skins, and other components are removed) and now they are slowly fermenting at low temperature at 12° C. (54° F.).
As is illustrated in the video, we have also begun the racking off of the Merlot, which was the first to be harvested.