The 2010 Vintage - Harvest 2010
What can we say about the 2010 harvest, which came at the end of a year that was especially strange and difficult? There was a late spring and a rainy summer that was cool and humid, an early autumn and lots of problems with the health of the vines.
2010 will definitely not be one of the vintages of the century and, as things stand right now, it is very hard to pick out any products of real excellence. However, after the first few days of harvesting, which caused us a great deal of apprehension because of all the care and hard work that we had to put into selecting the grapes, we can now say that we are hoping for a few pleasant surprises from the vats where fermentation is just coming to an end.
In short, it took us more time to pick less grapes than usual; also, we didn’t set aside any grapes for drying to make the Sole di Dario and we selected fewer grapes for the Nepomuceno. From our initial tastings, though, we can look forward to wines that may be less fleshy and muscular, but which display great freshness, fine aromas and acidity and which should eventually offer elegance and longevity.
The French (who know a thing or two about wine) refer to these as “cellar masters’ vintages”: years in which the skill and sensitivity of the winemaker really can compensate for nature’s lack of generosity. We hope we’ve done a good job!
Will we see Cantrina in Hong Kong? For now, we’ve just made the first small step…
Mister Knok Wilson, a very likeable Chinese we know, has sent us the magazine for which he writes from Hong Kong, defining himself as a Scholar of Wine (in fact he is a great expert and enthusiast).
Winenow is a very attractive magazine that deals with wine and food. Leafing through it, we found a double-page spread with photographs and an article on Cantrina … don’t ask us to translate it, but we do know that the article talks about the various vintages of Sole di Dario that he has tasted after keeping them for a number of years. Indeed, we have given him a bottle each year at Vinitaly, just because he’s a very nice man … he gave us a great and very welcome surprise with his piece on us.
In a year like this in which it wasn’t possible to produce Sole di Dario, we have, though, received various accolades regarding this wine… Golosaria 2011, the Guide edited by Massobrio and Gatti, awarded Sole di Dario 2005 a prize as one of Italy’s 100 best wines. The awards ceremony will take place on 7th November at noon at the Hotel Melià in Milan.
Slow Wine Guide
Welcome, too, to the first edition of Slow Wine, the new wine guide published by Slow Food. Here as well they gave us a nice write-up, and the Groppello in particular distinguished itself as a Wine for Everyday Drinking (good value for money).
Open-minded Exercice de style “Rosé”
Following the successful experiment of the 1600 bottles produced last year, this year we have increased the production of the Vino da Tavola Rosato (Rosé), made from100% Pinot Nero grapes. One of the things about this wine’s positive reception that gives us most pleasure is that we have demonstrated that a wine does not always need an appellation (such as I.G.T., D.O.C. or D.O.C.G) to be well regarded and enjoyed. Besides, the production of rosé wines is, like that of making Groppello, a tradition in our area.
It will be released around March 2011.
And this year’s open-minded Exercice de style?
We can do without just about everything except our freedom to experiment and be creative with wine.
This year we have concentrated on an unusual wine style for another type of rosé … we’re just too curious … and we still don’t know if something really special and unique will emerge. However, if we hadn’t experimented in the past, the Eretico and the Pinot Nero Rosé would never have seen the light of day!
In the next newsletter we’ll let you know how it turned out, the grape we used and what we were aiming for with this wine. As usual, if we’re happy with it there will be a mere900 bottles!!!
Cristina and Diego