The 2015 harvest has come to an end; and while it is too early to make any judgments about the quality of the vintage, it appears to have been an excellent growing season and harvest. Nearly all districts in Northern Italy reported experiencing a cold, wet winter and moderately wet spring. As I traveled the small country roads in the Barolo and Barbaresco at the end of March, I was drenched in downpours and remarked at the amount of standing water on the saturated soils. The ample moisture prepared the vines well for the relatively high temperatures in June and July. Flavio Sobrero at Azienda Agricola Sobrero Francesco in the Barolo commune of Castiglione Falletto, reports it was an excellent growing season with outstanding fruit coming form their Pernanno, Valentino and Piantà vineyards. Fabio Corsi at Le Marognole echoed those thoughts and shared images (shown) of handpicking the robust Valpolicella fruit and placing them directly in wooden racks for their "appassimento" processing. Roberto Corsi, Fabio's father, commented to the family that he has never in his life seen a special growing season like 2015. Tuscany experienced an extremely warm, dry summer that led to an early harvest (vendemmia) but exceptional fruit. Carlo Cantalici is expecting an exceptional vintage for the Gallo Nero of the Classico district. Carlo commented, "This harvest has been one of the most beautiful in the past 10 years! 2015 will be a year to remember as a great vintage!."
Indeed, it is early to come to any conclusions about the 2015 wines, but it is not too early to start building anticipation for what appears to be an exceptional vintage. In the meantime, the 2010 vintages are showing exceptional qualities, and many of our favorites have already been arriving. The 2010 Le Marognole Amarone is showing to be a very big vintage that will only continue to improve with a few more years of age. The 2010 Cantalici Chianti Classico Baruffo Riserva is one of the finest Chianti Classico wines available. Internationally known wine journalist Dan Berger rated Carlo’s Classico wine as “exceptional”. The 2010 Poggio Apricale Brunello di Montalcino from Luca Brunelli just arrived this past week. Luca earned a 93 point rating from Wine Spectator for his 2010 Brunello's from his Marotoccia farm. Fabio Sobrero’s 2010 Barolo “Ciabot Tanasio” (WS 92, WE 93) recently arrived and is already showing outstanding complexity and a structure that make it a wine for aging as well. Fabio’s 2010 Barolo Pernanno Riserva is still bottle aging and will not be released until December 2016. I barrel tasted with Flavio in March, and it was already showing qualities similar to the great vintage of 2006.
So we will have to wait to sample the first wines of the 2015 vintage. The 2015 Chianti Classico should be released this time next year, and the riserva six months later. In the meantime, there are fabulous 2010 vintages waiting to find a place on your table and in your wine glass.
Fall in the Langhe, Piemonte
Photo shared from Ristorante Le Torri, Castiglione Falletto