After blending all the barrels and barriques for the Rosso di Montalcino 2013, the empty barrels are cleaned deeply by using pressurized water, without detergents or other chemicals, in order to leave the wine unaltered.
Once the cleaning procedures are finalized, we will fill up the barrels with the 2014 Rosso di Montalcino.
Today the sun has finally come back and the forecast for the next few days is predicting much nicer weather.
Checking our weather control unit, we saw that from November 10 until today we had approximately 2 and a half inches of rain. Not too bad. The Orcia River, which flows through the lower part of our property, has swelled with all the excess water, but hasn’t created any problems.
In the meantime, in the cellar we are still racking off the new 2014 wines following malolactic fermentation.
As you can see from the photo the color is intense.
Already the wine is structured and full-bodied on the palate.
As predicted, rainy weather arrived in Montalcino today. So far, there has been less than one inch of rain, but strong winds are sweeping through the vineyards. Rain is overdue for the field beans and the grass that we planted in the vineyards two weeks ago. We also need rain for the crops we planted for the animals on the property (wheat and favino).
We are seeing increasingly autumnal weather in lower temperatures and the changing colors of the countryside. In the cellar the wines continue to perform malolactic fermentation while we carefully control all of the winemaking processes from our laboratory.
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.