Harvest notes

Harvest notes

In breve...

  • 2017 - ★★★★
  • 2018 - ★★★★
  • 2019 - ★★★★★
  • 2016 - ★★★★★
  • 2015 - ★★★★★
  • 2014 - ★★★
  • 2013 - ★★★★★
  • 2012 - ★★★★
  • 2011 - ★★★★
  • 2010 - ★★★★★
  • 2009 - ★★★★
  • 2008 - ★★★
  • 2007 - ★★★★★
  • 2006 - ★★★★
  • 2005 - ★★★★
  • 2004 - ★★★★★
  • 2003 - ★★★
  • 2002 - ★★
  • 2001 - ★★★★★
  • 2000 - ★★★★
  • 1999 - ★★★★
Harvest notes

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2019 - ★★★★★

The autumn-winter season began with heavy rains in November and moderate snowfall in December, followed by a month of January that has been quite dry up until early February, which has seen a couple of snowfalls. The situation has enabled the formation of a great water reserve that has proved to be precious in the summer.

The following months of February and March have seen mild and dry weather; but such condition has changed for the months of April and May, marked by abundant rains that rebalanced the vegetation of the vines, which formed disparate buds between the higher and the lower parts of the hills.

May and June have been hot and dry, registering temperatures above the average for a brief period of time.

The unusual and abundant rain at the beginning of July has definitely contributed to favouring gradual maturation that followed the conventional times of an outstanding vintage, however a somewhat poor harvest has been registered for some varieties. We harvested Moscato and Arneis from 8 to 13 September, Cortese di Gavi from 21 to 28 September, Barbera from 21 September to 2 October, Nebbiolo for Barbaresco from 6 to 18 October and those for Barolo from 11 to 18 October.

White wines are well-structured, harmonious with ideal level of acidity and aroma intensity, thus promising an excellent vintage.

As for the red wines, these have been the fruit of excellent weather conditions, specific thinning operations that are comparable to “working on a tailored suit” and a “vineyard by vineyard” harvesting that helped in reaching perfect maturation; as for the Crus, we proceeded to a manual selection of the grape bunches on the belt, and we consider their final quality to be ranging from very good to excellent, depending on the wine.

2018 - ★★★★

Winter began with mild temperatures and low rainfall, conditions which continued into December and January; only in the second half of February was there a sharp drop in temperatures that reached -10 ° with a heavy snowfall of 60/70 cm. March, April and May were marked by abundant rainfalls that averaged 350/380 mm, and by the end of the agricultural year, the total rainfall had exceeded 950 mm.

These conditions have been prosperous since it is aiding in restoring the depleted aquifers from the 2017 vintage when they was very little precipitation. The vegetative cycle began in a normal period. The excessive rains of May and the first half of June put a strain on the winemakers, who had to keep attentive watch, as it created the ideal conditions for blight. We were very timely in our anti-blight treatments in the vineyard, using the proper agronomic techniques to ensure plant health; we passed, unscathed, from this risk to have great grapes. As far as the red grapes were concerned, the number of Nebbiolo clusters was normal while the number of Barbera clusters was abundant, especially in areas that had been hit with frost the previous year. Therefore, we paid particular attention to green pruning, especially of the Barbera, and thinning of the bunches in order to achieve yields that were beneficial for the wine we produced. This is a vintage with very varied qualitative results. Only the winemakers who meticulously managed the vineyards with particular attention to yields have produced truly excellent quality wine.

From mid-June, the climate was warm with scarce rainfall and with maximum temperatures that reached 35 ° in the first fortnight of August. But the abundant water reserve in the soil allowed for the regular continuation of vegetation.

From the end of August to the first half of September, we fortunately had particularly cool nights that allowed the development of intense and delicate aromas.

The harvest took place in a regular time period, if not slightly ahead, with perfectly healthy and ripe grapes.

The Barbera and Nebbiolo red grapes reached an excellent physiological and phenolic maturation.

Today, the white wines are being recognized for their great freshness and elegance with an intense aromatic profile. Among these, the Gavi stand outs for an intensity and delicacy of aromas rarely found and for flavors of great character and extraordinary freshness.

As for the red wines, the Nizza and Barbere d’Asti wines have particularly intense aromas and excellent structure, they are certainly a great vintage. Nebbiolo-based wines are now ending their long maceration, and those destined for Barolo and Barbaresco are already projecting to be a great vintage, although it is always advisable with these wines to wait one or two years before giving final judgments.

The Langhe Nebbiolos are already really good, they have already been drawn off and are marked with excellent aromas and the potential of remarkable elegance.

In conclusion, we can say without fear, that 2018 is another excellent vintage for us.

2017 - ★★★★

Winter in the hills of Piedmot was considerably warm. Temperatures were high, rainfalls were low and there was no snow. These unusual conditions resulted in the limited collection of water in the soil. 

Mild temperatures during winter led to a premature onset of spring, with vegetative growth beginning about fifteen days earlier than normal. In the third week of April an unusual weather pattern occurred with temperatures dropping sharply for four nights in a row. The resulting night frosts caused serious damage to a number of vineyards, especially in Monferrato. A freeze of this scale had not been experienced in at least 50 years. Following the frost, temperatures stabilized and the vines began growing again in a fairly normal way. 

The summer period while not extremely hot, day temperatures rarely reached above 33-34∞C, was unusually dry, causing drought conditions in many vineyards. This did not affect the quality of the grapes in any way but did affect overall quantity and pushed the harvesting to an earlier period. There was a significant reduction in yield within the Barbera d’Asti, Moscato d’Asti and Gavi subzones. 

However, the situation in the Langhe and Roero was completely different. Frost only damaged areas at the bottom of the valley, where little vineyards lay, and two significant rainfalls took place in the 30 days before harvesting. The rain was an incredible aid in maintaining quality and yield, which ended up being just slightly lower than normal. 

The soil was maintained in a way to prevent the evaporation of water, retaining as much of this precious resource as possible. Regular vine management practices such as leaf and shoot thinning were not performed in the usual time frame so that the grape clusters remained shaded, preventing dehydration of the fruit from direct sunlight. Leaf thinning was undertaken at the end of summer to avoid further stress. 

After harvesting, the grounds between the rows were intensively worked to prepare the vines’ roots, as well as the soil, to store the coming rains and snow. To enrich the soil, organic fertilizer composed of Humus and manure was put down. Furthermore, in the spring cover crops of legumes will be sowed and the process of green manure will be applied which will inject natural sources of nitrogen into the soil, maximizing its fertility and ensuring that it remains humid even during critical periods. 

Harvesting took place around 20 days early in Monferrato, with very low yields, and around 10 days early in the Langhe, with below average, but satisfactory yields for Barolo and Langhe Nebbiolo, and a little poorer for Barbaresco. 

At the end of fermentation, we found the wines to be of a generally excellent quality. The Gavi and the Barbera d’Asti were excellent. The musts from the Moscato d’Asti were also similarly fantastic in quality. The harvests that stand out, however, are the Barolo and Langhe Nebbiolo grapes –  very healthy and crisp, as were Barbaresco and Arneis. Even if we still have to wait a few months for the young wines, and a few years to have a better idea of the development of the Barolo and Barbaresco, this 2017 vintage seems to be of excellent quality – lower yields overall, but wines that will excite. 

2016 - ★★★★★

The months of December, January and the first fortnight of February were characterised by mild temperatures and low rainfall. Temperatures from mid-February and throughout March were well below average for the period and there was abundant rainfall weather conditions that led to at least a ten-day delay in vegetative growth.

Spring was followed by heavy rainfalls that, though leaving the plants open to harm  from phytopathogens, resulted in the soil receiving good reserves of water, which proved invaluable during the long summer.

Ripening took place gradually, with bright, dry days and temperatures that were sufficiently high but never rising above 35°C, carrying forward the delays accumulated in spring.

In Piedmont, during the ripening period, there were no persistent rainfalls, only sporadic thunderstorms, and the difference in the night/daytime temperature of 15-18 C° from mid-August to late September fostered the development of important aromas in perfectly healthy grapes with particularly thick skins.

The harvest lasted a particularly long time, starting in the first week of September with the Moscato and finishing in mid-October with the Nebbiolo from Barolo.

After the great 2015 vintage, analytical data, on all the grapes gathered have been excellent, differing little from the previous harvest; the white wines based on Cortese, Arneis and Moscato are endowed with plenty of freshness and a wide range of elegant aromas, the Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes were gathered when their ripening was complete, both technologically and phenologically.

While waiting to be able to assess the actual quality level, it is logical to expect red wines of great character and elegance, suitable for lengthy aging.

2015 - ★★★★★

A not excessively cold Winter and abundant rainfall and snowfall (in February) that created an abundant water supply. A fairly mild March led to an early vegetative stage brought forward to the first part of April.

A warmish May with little  rainfall was followed by a June with mild temperatures and moderate rainfall.

From mid-June till August 10th there was a complete absence of rain,  with temperatures often exceeding 30 C°  but with nights that were cool enough; providential was the abundant rain that  fell in the second week of August, which made a fundamental contribution to the  grapes perfect ripeness.

In September the weather was truly ideal: bright days with daytime temperatures  of 26-28 C° accompanied by very cool nights that lowered temperatures to around 8-10 C°, excellent heat  differences in temperature that led to a great development of aromas and a  perfect phenological ripening of the red grapes.

These weather conditions enabled us to proceed with a very selective harvesting,  waiting till each variety reached its perfect technological and phenological  ripeness, which made all the difference; thus the harvesting of Moscato, Arneis  and Gavi was carried out on average one week in advance of the normal period,  while that of Barbera and Nebbiolo was almost within the norm, finishing with  the harvesting in Barolo in the first ten days of October.

Today, at the end of the alcoholic fermentation, we can already make an initial  assessment of the wines: Gavi, Arneis and Moscato have very developed, highly  delicate aromas while the tastes denounce a beautiful structure and great  elegance with a marked freshness thanks to the presence of an excellent acidity.

As for the red wines, Dolcetto has very evident aromas of violet and red fruits  and a taste that denotes a beautiful structure and elegance; very endearing is  the quality of the Albarossa, characterized by hints of red and black berries combined  with a delicious spiciness, while the taste is full, of excellent harmony and with  a pleasant presence of a fabric of fine tannins.

Barbera, in its different versions, comes out as being one of the best editions  ever: rich and particularly attractive in its aromas and tastes already now  that has just been born and it is easy to predict a great evolution over the  coming years. It will be an unforgettable vintage.

As for the Nebbiolo-based wines, ie Barolo, Barbaresco and Langhe Nebbiolo, the  analytical data are excellent and, organoleptically speaking, these wines  already show feature of an  extraordinary  level and, although for the wines of this noble variety it is usually best to  wait a couple of years before giving a final verdict, we feel optimistic enough  to foresee a truly great vintage.

In conclusion, we believe 2015 is a vintage to be remember as one of the greatest  of the last two decades.

2014 - ★★★

After a winter with temperatures above the seasonal average, March witnessed a revival of the vegetation ten days in advance, followed by a wet spring and good  temperatures. In June we had an early summer with very high temperatures; these conditions lasted  a little over a week, followed by alternate days of rain and sun; in late June, however,  we found we had accumulated a 20-day advance.

July and August were characterized by below-average  temperatures and many cloudy days and rain, though not excessive.

These weather conditions meant that a great deal of attention had to be paid to the  management of the green part, which involved frequent fungicidal treatments and a meticulous control of the yields. In September the weather improved  greatly, with daytime temperatures of around 27-28 C° and nighttime  temperatures of 10-12 C° optimal conditions  for a slow ripening and the  development of perfumes.

The summer weather conditions led to a slowing of the aging process, gradually losing the 20-day advance gained in June and  arriving on time for the traditional harvest period, similar  to 2013. The climatic conditions in Piedmont were difficult but not  as dramatic as in some other regions. If the optimal management of the vineyard makes a difference to quality even in perfect  years, this year the difference is  amazing.

Now that the harvest is over, we can give a preliminary judgment as regards the  quality of the different varieties: Gavi shows clear, very  marked fragrances, an excellent acidity  and an alcohol content slightly  lower than last year; Arneis we consider to be one of the best  vintages in recent years; Moscato d’Asti has very pronounced aromas, a lovely freshness  and harmony.

As for the red wines, we are satisfied with the quality of Barbera d’Asti, the highpoints being the  selections of La Court.

This year we started managing a new estate in Barbaresco in  which there is a cru of the highest magnitude, Faset. The overall quality of  Nebbiolo grapes in this area has been particularly high,  and we think the two crus Asili and Faset  will be surprising.

As for the Barolo, there was a  hail storm in August that damaged a part of  the vineyards, while our own vineyards,  protected by anti-hail netting, remained  unscathed.

Harvesting took place from 10th to 20th October, when the grapes were healthy, a good  sign of their ripeness and a particularly low yield.

We expect a good vintage, but in order to give a final judgment on the Barolo  it is best to await its first evolution, which cannot be assessed before next spring.

Overall, our qualitative results, in a complicated year often hastily judged to be mediocre,  are much better than expected. Of course, given the climate, in  addition to the meticulous management of  the care given to the vineyard, we have dramatically  reduced yields, of which the interesting  results now emerging are the pleasing result.

2013 - ★★★★★

2013 will be remembered as having the latest harvest in the last 20 years. A cold but average winter, with frequent snowfalls and rain which lasted from November to April; the vegetative cycle started with an excellent reserve of  water, though 15-18 days late; while in Spring the temperature fell somewhat,  resulting in a further delay in the vegetative state. Beautiful and warm days arrived in June, giving rise to a perfect bud-setting.

The veraison began towards 7th -10th August, 15-20 days  late, depending on the variety and locations; in August the weather was beautiful, with an excellent day/night temperature range, conditions that  allowed a constant ripening with an excellent development of aromas. Straddling August and September there were three days of rain (50 mm),  followed by a month of beautiful weather. October was marked by several rainy  days, for a total of 40 mm.

Such climatic conditions put a strain on the professionalism of growers in  preventing cryptogamic diseases; moreover the perfect bud-setting and the  Autumn rains favoured an increase in the size of the clusters, so a great contribution  to obtaining high quality was given by our drastically thinning out the  bunches.

The harvest took place very late, comparable to historic vintages of the 70s  and 80s, and we started picking the Moscato on 10th September and finished  harvesting the Nebbiolo from Barolo on 22nd October; all the grapes  arrived at the winery perfectly ripe and healthy.

The white wines were particularly attractive, having highly marked aromas and a  due to a pleasant acidity, great freshness. Their taste is decidedly  harmonious. As for the reds, extraordinary results were obtained in the great terroirs and  particularly in the vineyards with steep slopes, which enabled rainwater to  drain off quickly. Nonetheless we are very happy with the quality achieved also  on the other hillside positions: rich wines endowed with great freshness and highly  marked aromas. It must be pointed out that this year, with an equal structure, we had moderate  alcohol content, and this is certainly not a negative factor. As far as Barolo  and Barbaresco are concerned, though having to wait a year or two to give a  definitive judgment, we have found extremely positive characteristics that lead  us to be optimistic.

We are convinced that some pleasant surprises await us.

2012 - ★★★★

The year 2012 will be remembered for its dry, hot summer, which affected many Italian regions, and for the lowest yields of the last 50 years. Piedmont had a winter-spring weather pattern that was very peculiar the  absence of any significant rainfall in December and January, though with  standard temperatures, followed by a truly abnormal February.

Freezing temperatures with minimums of around -20 C°; for a period of 10 days and  exceptionally heavy snowfall for a total of about 100 cm, there then followed  a very rainy spring, especially from mid-April to May 20th.

These rainfalls created a precious water reserve in the soil, which was of  great help during the 3 months of summer drought, characterized by very high  temperatures, especially in August; said weather conditions were experienced throughout  Italy.

Despite the above mentioned water reserve, in late August the vineyards planted  on calcareous and sandy soil and exposed to the south and west began to suffer  when, unexpectedly on September 1st, 2nd and 3rd,  there arrived three days of heavy rainfall (average 80 mm) that were a real  godsend, the benefit of which is incalculable and changed the fate of the  harvest, contributing significantly to a very balanced ripening, particularly  favoured by the meager quantity.

In mid-September, at the time this report was written, we harvested the white  grapes Moscato, Chardonnay and Arneis, while it is expected that the Cortese in  Gavi will be harvested from September 18th. As regards the red  grapes, we have already harvested the  Dolcetto and Merlot and from 13th to 15th we harvested the  La Court Barberas  in the vineyards facing south to west, while over the next 10 days we foresee  the harvesting of the other Barberas and of the Albarossa.  Quality: high-quality Moscato comparable with the great 2011, rich and with very high aromatic indices; for Chardonnay and Arneis the analytical data are very similar to 2011, as are those of the Cortese still in the vineyards.

As for the reds, those harvested to date are expected to be of extraordinary  quality.

The harvesting of Nebbioli for Nebbiolo d’Alba, Barolo and Barbaresco is foreseen for the beginning of October; at the moment the grapes are perfect,  with whole, thick skins. If there are no atmospheric calamities in the coming weeks, one cannot but expect great quality.

Therefore we can say without fear of contradiction that we have once again an excellent vintage before us.

Yield: up till now as regards the types of grapes harvested, compared to the  already meager harvest of 2011, yields are down by 25% for Chardonnay, 10% for  Moscato and 10% for Arneis; as regards the black grapes, -15% for Dolcetto and  -25% for both Barbera and Merlot.

2011 - ★★★★

The harvest is over and we are now able to report on it. The harvest is over and we are now able to report on it. This summer was one of the most surprising and bizarre of the last decades: after a normal June, there arrived a capricious July with several rainy, dull days and  below-average temperatures, conditions which made us fear there might be  problems with the vintage. In the first week  of August there was a sudden, radical change in the weather, with splendid,  sunny days and above-average temperatures, conditions that continued  uninterruptedly up till the first week of September, when on the upper part of  south-facing hills with decidedly calcareous soil, only the Barbera and  Dolcetto grapes showed initial signs of withering due to lack of water.

Fortunately, on  the 4th and 5th September, we witnessed two fairly intense storms that in  Monferrato and the Langhe resulted in rainfalls that varied from 25 to 35 mm. This fact helped  enormously to rebalance the ripening process and was a real godsend for the  varieties that still had to be picked, Barbera and Nebbiolo in particular. A very important  factor this year has been the management of the vineyards: decisive has been  the working of the ground under the vine rows (between one rootstock and  another) that enabled the ground to be aerated and to store both rainwater and  nighttime dew without loss; moreover, given the climatic conditions, our  agronomists wisely avoided carrying out any defoliation in August, thus  ensuring that the bunches of grapes were better protected from the sun rays.

The aforementioned  climatic conditions led to the grapes ripening earlier, on average by two  weeks.

Truly excellent  the quality of the white grapes, extremely rich in sugar, optimum acidity and  with a very high aromatic ensemble: the Moscato d’Asti is undoubtedly the  richest in the last ten years and possesses extraordinarily delicate  fragrances.

The Gavis and the Arneis are all excellent, and we would rate them no less than the great 2009  and 2010 vintages.

As for the red  wines, at the end of the fermentation stage the Barbera d’Asti impressed us by  its richness and freshness: we gathered the Nebbiolo grapes in wonderful  conditions of ripeness and uniformity, thus we feel that they will not fail to  bring forth excellent wines, even if the complexity of these wines means that  it takes one or two years before a definitive judgment can be expressed.

The yield was on  average 10% lower, but we are extremely satisfied at having, without doubt,  another prized vintage.

2010 - ★★★★★

A winter characterized by numerous snowfalls, which occurred from 20th November to late February, followed by heavy rainfalls until mid-March. The beginning of the vegetative stage occurred in early April – ten days late – followed by stable weather that favoured a regular course of the vegetative cycle. May and June were characterized by dry weather with temperatures slightly below average for the period.

From early July to late August the weather was characterized by very sunny and bright days with high temperatures, though never excessively so. Then came unstable weather with rainy days interspersed by other, sunny ones for a couple of weeks, and in those circumstances our traditional attention to defoliation and to thinning out the clusters was crucial and made all the difference, ensuring that our vineyards suffered no negative influences.

Mid-September saw the return of splendid weather, very sunny and dry, which led to very late Nebbiolo, which meant whole, thick-skinned and perfectly ripe grapes. The harvest was carried out at the traditional time, as summarized here for the main varieties: Muscat, beginning 7th September: Roero Arneis and Cortese 18th to 25th September; Barbera, after 28th September; and we started harvesting Nebbiolo as of 6th October.

The result was white wines with very high acidity, evident aromas and extremely fresh, fruity flavours; a great year, excellent the Barberas and other black grapes, spectacular the quality of the Nebbiolos, for which we can predict another excellent vintage.

2009 - ★★★★

Winter temperatures were normal and with three fairly heavy snowfalls; the vegetative awakening began quite early, at the beginning of March. A particularly rainy Spring in April and May, interspersed by sunny days.

with a lot of light and with high, but not excessive, daytime temperatures and with hardly any rain.From the viewpoint of the grapes’ healthiness, the aforementioned climatic conditions staved off the risk of attacks by mildew, oidium and every other infestation.

August witnessed quite high daytime temperatures, with peaks of 32/33 C°, and a marked daytime/nighttime difference in heat; sunny days that benefited from two providential rainfalls: this climatic situation led to a speedy and perfect maturation of the grapes and brought about notable aromas in the wines.

Harvesting was brought forward quite decidedly, with perfectly rich and healthy thick-skinned grapes, the following being the dates when harvesting began: August 24th for Chardonnay; August 26th for Moscato; September 5th for Arneis and Cortese; September 12th for Barbera; September 15th for Albarossa; September 30th for Nebbiolo.

The qualitative results were truly excellent and we can safely say that 2009 will be remembered as a great vintage; the white wines Gavi, Arneis and Moscato are especially rich and fresh, with highly marked bouquets.

All the red wines are complete and of great importance, over all of which soars the exceptional level achieved by Barbera d’Asti in all its forms, and while Barolo and Barberesco in their present state have the characteristics of a great vintage, it will as usual be best to wait a couple of years before expressing a definitive judgment on them.

2008 - ★★★

After a classic winter, particularly cold and with three snowfalls, the vegetative awakening took place in the second half of March, in line with the traditional timetable, followed by excellent spring weather.

Starting from early June the weather worsened considerably, with rain almost daily and temperatures of 2-3 C°; below the seasonal average: these conditions continued till the first ten days of July, which had a negative influence on the flowering of the vines and thus led to marked phenomena of floral abortion and a vegetative delay. The aforementioned weather conditions were such as to lead to attacks of downy mildew, and only those winegrowers who traditionally work in a professional way were able to avoid seeing their crops damaged: our preventive cures helped to avoid any and all harm. In that moment, the aforementioned weather conditions made us slightly pessimistic as regards the possible quantitative and qualitative results of the harvest.

Fortunately, in mid-July the weather conditions changed radically upon the arrival of sunshine and a rise in the temperatures to traditional seasonal levels: clear skies and day/night temperatures of 15-18 C°. In Piedmont these weather conditions continued uninterruptedly up till October, interspersed only by a couple of summer storms, enabling a recovery of the vegetative growth and the continuation of the ripening of the grapes in a gradual and perfect manner, helped on by the decidedly low quantity of grapes on the vines.

Harvesting began in line with the once classic years, and that is: on 3 rd September for the Chardonnay, on 7 th September for the Moscato, on 18th September for the Arneis, on 23rd September for the Cortese, on 25 th September for the Albarossa, on 28th September for the Barbera and on 10th October for the Nebbiolo, with which harvesting came to an end on 21st October.

We harvested vineyard by vineyard, when the grapes were justly ripe: this was possible thanks to the continuing good weather and to the state of the grapes, whose skins were thick and unbroken. The yield was on average 15-20% below the norm, but with a quality that satisfied us completely for all the varieties. At the moment the qualities of the white wines Gavi Arneis ad Moscato are well defined, with extremely intense, delicate aromas and elegant flavours that possess an excellent tart freshness.

Albarossa shows itself to be highly rich, with the promise of an extraordinary vintage. The Barbera d’Asti is undoubtedly of a very high level: after the great vintages of 2006 and 2007, we feel that the 2008 one will be very similar to them. We are enthusiastic about the quality of the Nebbiolo wines from Barolo and Barbaresco: a particularly intense colour, very rich aroma, ideal alcoholic content and rich in delicate tannins accompanied by a perfect acidity, characteristics that have traditionally marked vintages of great character and long life: as always, given the complexity of these wines, a couple of years are needed before we can express a definitive judgment; however, if a beautiful day can be foreseen by its dawn, we can be decidedly optimistic.

Thus, we are delighted to be able to state that in Langhe and in Monferrato the series of vintages that range from very good to excellent began in 2003 and have continued uninterruptedly to date. I can consider the 2008 vintage as being optimum, obviously for those winegrowers who have paid great attention to the management of their vineyards.

2007 - ★★★★★

The winter was quite mild, with lean rainfalls. In March spring temperatures enabled the vegetation of the vines, pulling them ca. 20 days in advance. In spring we had lean rainfalls and temperatures which were higher than normal.

Summer came with sunny days, no rainfalls and perfect temperatures, apart from a week in June, characterized by modest rainfalls and drop off of the temperatures. Since it all happened during the blossoming of the vines, it caused fall of the berries, with a consequent lower yield per hectare. A bit of stress, linked to the lack of water, especially in the vineyard with best exposures and calcareous sandy soils, was caused by these two months long sunny and hot weather with no rainfalls at all. The rainfalls on the 4 th and 25 th /26 th of August (ca. 80/90 mm) have been precious, we noticed the difference during the harvest. The rain on the 4 th of August helped the fulfil of the maturation of the white grapes (Moscato, Cortese, Arneis and Chardonnay), while the second rain (25 th and 26 th ) came right in time to enable the perfect ripeness of Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes. Fundamental for the development of the bouquet and the aromas was the thermic range (day/night) of 16-18 C° from July until September.

The vintage has taken place extremely in advance, since we started harvesting the Moscato on the 19 th of August (20 days in advance referred to normal vintages), then we continued with Arneis, Dolcetto, Albarossa and Cortese.

We started harvesting Barbera on the 7 th of September and went on harvesting Nebbiolo in Barbaresco and in Barolo from the 20 th until the 28 th of September.

In the last 50 years we have never registered the end of the vintage before the end of September.

It is to consider that even in 2003 we had a advanced harvest, but it was due to the very warm weather of that period, where we reached the 40 degrees daily for almost two months.

Meanwhile this year it has been an advanced harvest, because the all life circle of the vines started earlier but we had normal temperatures, consequently the quality we have in 2007 is totally different from 2003.

We harvested grapes with very thick skins, with good acidity and rich of sugar: regarding the white grapes, they had outstanding aromas, while the red grapes had a perfect phenolic maturation.

Now that the phenolic fermentations are over, we can confirm that the white wines are rich, supported by a very good acidity and with fine, well-developed aromas.

Dolcetto is full and fresh, well balanced. Barbera d’Asti has an unusual rich colour, with a great extract and outstanding fruity aromas, very fresh and elegant. We think they’ll be able to develop at their best, but as usual we’d prefer to wait one year before giving the final judgment.

A particular footnote for Albarossa (Dalmasso Nebbiolo x Barbera), whose vineyards are already at their second vintage, its quality is really interesting, with deep intense colour, ripe fruity aromas and a full taste, already well-balanced. It will certainly be an astonishing wine!!

Actually we do not remember any other vintages, whose values were so perfect for the white grapes as well as for the red grapes: therefore we can only be extremely optimistic for the development of the wines coming from this extraordinary year of vintage.

2006 - ★★★★

The results of this vintage are in a range between very good and excellent. The climate was positive for the vines: after a long and cold winter with two large snowfalls we had a late and rainy spring, followed by a dry ad warm summer (particularly June and July). The temperatures in August were slightly lower than the seasonal average values, but from the beginning of September until the 20th of October the temperatures were higher than normal.

Two providential rainfalls (at the end of August and 20th of September ) and the high thermic range between daily and night temperatures gave a perfect maturation of all our varieties. The natural yield per hectare was abundant: our traditional way of running the vineyards, which aims to control the quantity and the size of the grapes through a tough green pruning in July, followed by the thinning out after the veraison, enabled us to plan the perfect final yield per hectare and to reach extraordinary results in quality: healthy and thick skins, a great balance of the polyphenol components.

White wines Gavi and Arneis have a wonderful nose, extraordinary scents, particularly rich aromas and well-balanced acidity: indeed one of our best vintages in this gorgeous decade. Barbera d’Asti is intense ruby red, with intense aromas, good structure and well-balanced. Due to the perfect phenolic maturation of the grapes and the well balanced sugar content, we have a extraordinary quality.

The Nebbiolo grapes gave wonderful results in Barolo e Barbaresco wine, even if we have to wait for an year to be sure about the final quality of the wines. Regarding the Moscato d’Asti, we consider 2006 the best vintage of the whole decade: its aromas are intense and its taste is full, delightful because it is exceptionally rich of sugar contents as well as a good acidity. We are here presenting a vintage, which is highly to consider and remember.

2005 - ★★★★

Average winter with two snowfalls in December, followed by a dry January and February, April brought lots of rain (150mm). The summer was warm and quite dry, in September there were some rainy days ( 80 mm ), for five days in October we had heavy rain from 9 th to 14 th ( 110 mm ). The optimal temperatures speeded up the vegetative growth of the plants, without originating any kind of phytopathalogic problems.

This year our traditional way of running the vineyards (manual thinning out and control of yield per hectare) played, more than ever, a very important role: indeed during the September rainfall the fact that the grapes were separated from each other and free from leaves impeded the stagnation of the water and eventual deterioration of the grapes.

The limited quantity of yield per plant enabled us to reach the perfect maturity a bit earlier than the previous year: the harvest took place rapidly and on time. The last harvest was the Nebbiolo da Barolo, which ended on the 8 th of October, only one day before the harmful rainfalls began. We were lucky but also wise: the average yield per hectare was 10-18% lower than the previous year, depending on the varieties. Our way of running the vineyards was p arti cularly difficult and expensive, but we are extremely satisfied: this effort was crowned by the high quality of all our wines of this vintag.

2004 - ★★★★★

After several years marked by early harvests, we are back to normal: in fact, we began harvesting on 8th September, with the Muscat grapes, and finished on 16th October, with the Barolo Nebbiolo ones.

After a winter blessed by normal temperatures but little rain, we were greeted by a fairly wet spring (450 mm of rain from March to May). More than welcome, of course, because it served to top up underground water reserves that had been exhausted by the long, dry summer of 2003.

From mid-July, excellent weather conditions prevailed such as to enable the perfect setting of the grape clusters.

Due to the seasonal conditions and the sturdy spring growth of the vine shoots, the grape clusters were immediately seen as being particularly abundant, thus, during the leaf-stripping work, we already arranged to have a good number of them eliminated. The summer weather conditions were decidedly favourable: more than three months of ideal temperatures and no rain; moreover, from early September till the end of the harvest, wide-ranging changes in night/day temperatures were precious allies in the quest for quality. The daytime heat, along with the good moisture contained in the soil, helped to enlarge the clusters: thus, a determining factor was the carrying out of a severe, and in some cases drastic, thinning-out of the clusters throughout our vineyards. This delicate and costly task helped bring about an ideal ripening of all our grapes, which were picked, vineyard by vineyard, on the basis of the analytical data on their phenolic ripeness. Yields from individual vineyards met our programmed goals, set according to the designated wine. Never before has such a marked qualitative difference been witnessed between those who managed vineyard yields intelligently and those who left on the vines the quantities resulting from the spring shoot growth, which has proven to be truly excessive. In short, the following are the qualitative results of our most important wines. Gavi, Arneis, Moscato d’Asti: the structure is the same as last year’s, with pleasingly high acidity and a much more developed aromatic framework: thus, we foresee rich, well-balanced whites with heavily marked fragrances.

Barbera d’Asti: wines with an excellent alcohol and acidity balance, particularly rich in anthocyans and polyphenols, with intense fruity perfumes.

The same characteristics for the Monferrato Rosso wines

Dolcetto d’Alba: rich in colour, full-bodied, with delicate and intense perfumes.

Nebbiolo from Barolo and from Barbaresco: excellent alcohol content, highly balanced acidity and, for this variety, extremely high concentrations of anthocyans and polyphenols.

Therefore, we are enthusiastic about the results of the harvest and have confidence in the future of the wines we produce.

2003 - ★★★

A harsh, dry winter. A fairly rainy April and May (220mm) helped to set aside a good supply of water, which proved to be extraordinarily precious as the year went on. March began with an African summer that lasted a good four months, with no rainfall and daytime temperatures often reaching 40 C°. but, fortunately, with a good difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures in August and September.

These weather conditions, besides protecting the vineyards from any upsurge in cryptogamic infection, notably speeded up the ripening process. We began harvesting on August 16, with the Muscat grapes, the earliest harvest in the last two centuries, and then went on to harvest the Cortese, in Gavi, and the Barbera d’Asti, which was gathered in from the 5 th -20 th September.

The Nebbiolo grapes from Barbaresco and Barolo were not so precocious since they reached their phenolic ripeness only starting from the last 10 days of September, when we began harvesting them, till the 5 th October. Considering how extreme the weather conditions were, it is extraordinary that, save for the young vines (up to 7 years old) which suffered from lack of water, in the other situations the vines suffered hardly at all and brought their grapes to perfect sugar and phenolic ripeness, though with yields down by 40% on average.

Looking back, similar weather conditions were recorded in 1947 and 1961: years which then proved to be enormously prestigious ones. We feel that this may be mainly due to the soil of our hills not being very deep and to Piedmont’s vicinity to the Alps, which, through the creation of a fair amount of dew, helps mitigate temperatures during the night.

To sum up, we have produced white wines of extraordinary quality: both Gavi and Arneis have an excellent structure and highly marked aromas; the Moscato d’Asti is undoubtedly the richest we have ever produced. The Barbera d’Asti has proven to be rich, with fairly pronounced fruity aromas, with an ample and already very harmonious taste thanks to the presence of fine tannins and well-balanced acidity: it will be a year long remembered.

The Barolo and Barbaresco currently possess great structure and fine tannins, and are already pleasing. However, since these are wines that express their greatness only after some years, and while we are certain they will reach an optimum level, we are giving ourselves two years to check on their development with regard to complexity and elegance.

2002 - ★★

A winter with average rainfall (220mm) followed by a dry April meant that the vegetative stage began normally. May, exceptionally rainy, with quite 210mm of rainfall, was the first premonitory sign of a difficult year, followed by quite a warm summer interspersed by frequent storms and a persistently hot-humid climate.

An attentive, maniacal defence of the vines from any attack by downy mildew was a challenge for all quality vine-growers: to best carry out this pest control, our personnel took not even one day off for their summer holidays, but succeeded in ensuring that the plants avoided any type of infestation.

To try to ensure quality we thinned out the grape bunches twice and stripped away the leaves: before the harvest, we worked our way along the vine rows, eliminating from the bunches all the grapes whose skins were unhealthy. A reasonably warm and dry September saved what was saveable.

The yield from the harvest was down by 40% to 50%; though the quality was good enough to produce the classic wines, it was not high enough to produce our crus, which we have decided not to produce for the 2002 vintage.

2001 - ★★★★★

At last a normal winter, with considerable rainfall and two discreet snowfalls ( 280 mm ). Particularly low winter-type temperatures were recorded in March, while April was dry with average seasonal temperatures thus the vegetative state started regularly.

A fairly wet May (90mm) helped replenish water reserves, which were shown to be precious in summer.

From June to October the weather was dry and very hot, with considerable differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures: the period witnessed only two brief storms.

The harvest was carried during the traditional period and the grapes were perfectly healthy when they were picked, especially the Barbera and nebbiolo grapes, whose skins were very thick.

Over the last 100 years we have never had more than two consecutive excellent harvests: this last vintage brings the count to quite seven very good to excellent years for Barolo and Barbaresco, and five for Barbera d’Asti; this is truly extraordinary.

In our view, the 2000 vintage, though enormously prestigious, has been incredibly overtaken by the 2001 for Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera d’Asti, which we feel are magnificent.

2000 - ★★★★

A winter characterised by very low temperatures and little rainfall. April and May were very rainy (260mm) with temperatures just about up to average.

These climatic conditions led to the vegetative stage starting slightly later. From June to September the weather was hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching 36-36 C ° Rain storms arrived at the end of August in particular and helped the grapes reach perfect ripeness.

The grapes were harvested a week early, perfectly ripe and healthy, with a well balanced acidity.

The wines produced were particularly noteworthy: the whites were elegant and fine; the Barbera, Barolo and Barbaresco were considerably rich and complex: the 2000 vintage, especially for Barolo and Barbaresco, will be a truly great one.

1999 - ★★★★

Cold, dry winter with heavy rainfall in March and April (270mm) together with above average temperatures; these weather conditions led to an early vegetative stage.

May and June with temperatures 2-3 degree above average, sunny days interspersed by rainy ones (130 mm); in July, August and September the weather was very hot and dry, interspersed only by a few thunderstorms The heatwave in August and September led to a perfect ripening of the grapes, with the upsurge of marked fragrances. The harvest was brought forward on average by 10 days.

The result was a year characterised by scented, elegant white wines and by red wines of considerable structure and delicacy; especially high was the quality of the Barolo, which possessed great structure and complexity as well as pleasant, fine tannins.

Its life will be notably lengthy.