Will the 2013 harvest be the last of the 20th century?
Scarce harvest, late, excellent quality, which has kept us running, due to the fact that, after years, we have had to weave through sunny and rainy days
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
Finally the 2013 harvest is finished. Normal quantities at Casato Prime Donne while at Fattoria del Colle the drought which made us loose last years produce has reduced this year’s quantity too.
For the first time after years we saw the ripening proceed slowly with the sugars and the acids evolving at the same rate as the polyphenols in the grape skins. But there’s is a difference with what used to happen 20years ago when late harvests occurred, coinciding with the autumn showers. The botrytis appeared in the vineyards where it arrives every year, and there it stayed. The news vines remain miraculous untouched, where it was as if we had Cabernet instead of Sangiovese, with its skins make of double the cellular layers compare to our main variety. Maybe the new clones have a thicker skin or maybe the bad weather when the flowering took place reduced the dimension and number of grapes making them loser, smaller and so much better at resisting the rain … what is important is that we brought home grapes which are perfectly sound, right to the end. Twenty years ago this would have been impossible.
I have a doubt: do I have a special divine protection or am I just lucky? I had picked most of the grapes, including the “super” stuff for Brunello, those for Cenerentola Orcia Doc and for the Il Drago e le 8 colombe IGT, all before the great rainfall on October 5th.We began harvesting on September 18th with the Merlot and on September 26th for Brunello. The grapes at Casato Prime Donne were ready with lignified seeds and perfect analysis. The fourth good harvest in a row, it seems like a dream!
At Fattoria del Colle things are more difficult. The grapes were behind in
theirripening and two vineyards had attacks of botrytis so we had to pick it before it went mouldy. <<Patience>> said Barbara Magnani the cellar master <<it will make a wonderful wine to be sold by the litre>>. In the cellar at Colle there are though 300 hl of really super wine and with these we will do wonders.
What has been surprising is how the Foglia Tonda and Sagrantino grapes have resisted. Perfect clusters, no trace of mould or dismembering of the skins <<the Sagrantino is indestructible>> comments Efisio Luche head of the grape pickers <<even the deer don’t eat it.>>.
What will the 2013 wines be like? Long lasting, deep, round, but there will be few of them. For the third year in a row the yield has been low, even though last year was worse. We are nowhere near the production of 2010.