Harvest 2014: first comments
I only have one comment on harvest 2014 in Sicily: outstanding!
Today is the last day of harvest 2014 at Cantine Barbera.
The starting whistle was blown on August 1st, and we worked in the vineyard with almost no stop until today: a 45 days long breathless run. Not the longest harvest ever, but one of the most intense and challenging for sure.
My general feeling is that this is a good vintage, with a limited reduction in grape’s quantity: a lower yield on indigenous grapes was partially compensated by a good production of international varieties, which have enjoyed fresh temperatures in August. A total decrease of 13% is not bad at all, considered the poor forecasts that have been flaunted all over the internet for weeks.
Inzolia is nice and aromatic as always: grapes were smaller than normal but very crunchy, and showed amazing salinity, both on the younger vines and in the 45 year-old Dietro le Case vineyard.
This vintage brought me also the most surprising Nero d’Avola in the past 14 years, juicy and intense both in color and aromas. Also the grapes for La Bambina were exceptionally good: my baby girl shows today a paler color than last year and a more delicate nose, which I believe will evolve into a nice fruity bouquet.
Still too early to judge the Perricone, which is fermenting in a new wooden tank, but from what I see so far I can say it’s already on its way to become a wine with great structure and body.
The Grillo is a little riper than it has been in the past vintages, but its vibrant acidity is always what I love the most in this variety.
My funky experiments are proceeding as well.
The Zibibbo is already in the barrels: this year I moved him up from barriques to tonneaux, so he has to work a lot to qualify for bottling, as I expect very much from him. The Alicante champs at the bit to complete its malolactic, I will see him in a couple of weeks to better understand its character, and if everything goes as I hope we will have a new baby in the family soon.
The last grapes we are harvesting today is Cabernet Sauvignon coming from La Vota vineyard, which peeps though the vine’s branches and is all dressed up in his ultramarine blue skin. It will arrive at the winery in a couple of hours: hold on, I’m going to get the press ready!