That’s an image of vines at the Fattoria dei Barbi captured a week after harvest was over.
It’s yet another anomaly from the bizarre 2017 vintage. There are no grapes on the vines but does it look to you like the vines are resting? Do they seem stressed to you?
Of course, they do not. And the same thing is happening on our estate in Maremma.
The ripening of the berries was perfect. But the vines are still producing vegetation. And so are the woods. They are starting to produce vegetation again after the recent rains.
In a season of surprises, I’d like you to ponder the following.
This year, the polyphenols and the color of the grape must in southern Tuscany are abundant and rich. But every area has a different story to tell — its own story. Even in Montalcino, the grapes ripened well. They were less concentrated and had good acidity. But the seeds didn’t turn completely brown. They were crunchy and ripe but some still had a hint of green. Just a few of them, as always happens. The bottom line was that the grapes weren’t different than usual. They ripened a week earlier than normal but that was it.
Here’s my take on it (and being that I am just a layperson, please give me the benefit of inventory).
In Maremma, the plants were so stressed that it forced them to ripen. As a result, the seeds hardened in order to allow the species to survive.
In Montalcino, the season was also tough but not as extreme.
As a result, in Maremma, we’ll get wines that are good but the aging potential will be reduced because of the stress they suffered.
In Montalcino, the grapes were normal and we’ll have a Brunello that will be a little bit concentrated, powerful, and well suited for aging.
Stefano Cinelli Colombini
Fattoria dei Barbi