Barolo 1999
Tuesday, February 15th, 2000

Barolo 1999

Still an exceptional vintage

The last vintage of the second millennium proved to be of truly great quality, far exceeding the forecasts of the most optimistic winemakers: five great vintages in a row, never before in the history of Barolo wine. The vine's vegetative cycle had started quite early, with March and April already quite hot and in any case with temperatures higher than the seasonal average.
May fresh and rainy slowed down the flowering and fruit setting which, however, occurred in normal times. The good weather resumed in the months of June and July, where fairly high average temperatures and very little rainfall gave the vintage an early start again. Already at the end of July, veraison began in the rows of Barolo vines, i.e. the formation in the grape of the polyphenols that make up the color of the wine.

The vintage even seemed very early, although the scarcity of rainfall in June and July began to give signs of water stress in particularly exposed vineyards. After the 10th of August the temperature dropped considerably and some rain dampened the drought that was beginning to be felt. September, the decisive month for the ripening of Nebbiolo, was mild, with sunny days and clouds alternating with some precipitation. This lowering of the temperature slowed down, but did not hinder the ripening of the Nebbiolo grapes, which, helped by some very cold nights (the first frost appeared in the valley floor at the beginning of October), occurred in normal times. The first vines to reach perfect ripeness were Cannubi and Brunate harvested on 7, 8 and 9 October, followed by Sarmassa harvested on 10 and 11 October. Slightly later Coste di Rose and Ravera harvested on 15 and 16 October respectively. From the first tastings of the wines obtained, you can notice an excellent intensity and tonality of colour, with a good balance between acidity and tannic structure. Large quantity of extract that in some cases exceeds 32 grams litre, which suggests a remarkable longevity of the year 99. Sustained alcohol levels, which in some cases exceed the natural 14 degrees but which harmonize well with the great structure of the wine.

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