2017 harvest of Casato Prime Donne gave us a powerful and silky “Mediterranean” Brunello, that will perhaps give its best in the first 10-15 years of life
There is a famous phrase by Winston Churchill (statesman and Nobel Prize for Literature 1874-1965) that corresponds to the feeling of the Brunello winemakers in 2017 << not always to change is equivalent to improving, but to improve you have to change>>.
MONTALCINO REIGN OF THE GREAT SANGIOVESE IN 2017
In truth, Montalcino is among the wine districts most benefited by climate change and, even in 2017, it was spared from frosts and other climatic disturbances that affected other areas.
However, summer 2017 was scorching also in Brunello land. While the oak woods turned orange in the middle of summer, the grape growers at Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino looked after the Sangiovese vineyards with the hoe helping them to overcome stress. In the end, the organic cultivation, which made the soil softer and more alive, as well as the reduction of the bunches and the management of the canopy to shade, have borne their fruit.
Few grapes but very good.
BRUNELLO 2017 HARVEST WITH EXTREME SELECTION OF GRAPES
The harvest was a painstaking work. The grapes were harvested by hand dividing the bunches of the two sides of the espaliers. Something slow, artisanal and very demanding both from an organizational and an economic point of view.
But <<to improve you have to change>> and maybe change means going back to the grandparents’ systems and recuperating from your memory the old vineyard practices. And here, as in the past, the winemakers first picked the less good grapes and then returned to the same vineyards to take the ones destined for Brunello. The winemakers Barbara Magnani has baptized this system <<reverse harvest>>.
The result is an extremely satisfying “Mediterranean” Brunello, with more alcohol and extracts than usual, but with a surprising freshness, an excellent pleasantness and a good persistence.
It will perhaps give its best in the first 10-15 years of life.
In 2017, Brunello Riserva was not produced and the Prime Donne selection was reduced to half of the normal amount. This has allowed us to raise the quality of the classic Brunello di Montalcino.