From winemaker Stefano Cinelli Colombini…
The 2017 harvest at Fattoria dei Barbi in Scansano: In the three glasses in the photo above from left, you can see Merlot (1), Ciliegiolo and Alicante (2), and Cabernet (3). The berries have crunchy brown seeds, wild color, and high levels of polyphenols.
Notice anything strange?
Nothing at all, except… The grapes in the first two glasses were picked 20 days earlier than usual and the grapes in the last glass were picked 40 days earlier.
How can the grapes be so ripe?
Beats me. But they are totally ripe.
I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.
But the flavors are great and there is no trace of bell pepper or jam.
This harvest will make for excellent wines even though, theoretically, none of this should be possible.
Everything about this year is strange. The woods seem like they’re dying but the vines continue to produce vegetation.
My hat goes off to anyone who can make sense of this.
The soil has been reduced to a dusty sprawl. And if it starts raining, we are going to see erosion like we have never seen before.
I don’t know if all of this is due to the work of humans or to natural cycles in the climate (that we are unaware of). In the end it really doesn’t matter: Whoever is to blame, the fact of the matter is that we need to rethink hillside viticulture. Because if this happens again next year, the vines won’t make it.
Stefano Cinelli Colombini
grape grower, winemaker, and owner
Fattoria dei Barbi