Barbera loves heat, and 2017 delivered the heat in spades. This is THE typical Barbera d’Alba wine. Ripe, spicy black fruit nose with deep oak, framing a core of pure black berries and plums along with a very deep purple-black color. In the mouth, the wine is all dark fruits. This shows blackberries and raspberries, with a chocolate and cocoa powder midpalate and hints of cassis. Concentrated, generous and mouth-filling. The high natural acidity of Barbera gives freshness and balance to the exuberant fruit. Long sweet finish.
Evolution of the year 2017
“Warm and dry” are the best words to briefly and clearly describe the 2017 vintage. Alleviating the heat were the excellent diurnal temperature shifts that brought cool air during the night, which provided a little relief to the vines even in the hottest days of July and August.
The mild winter led to early bud break. But, in an atypical return of cold in mid-April, the vegetative cycle was slowed by very cold temperatures which which even brought frost to the valley floors. During the periods of pre-flowering and flowering, the cold clearly determined the formation of the grape bunches, leading to looser bunches with better internal air circulation. After May 16 the vegetative cycle was defined by the hot, dry weather that remained until the end of August. The high-pressure zone that formed over Europe for the entire summer led to early maturation.
The summer, warm and dry but with good diurnal temperature shifts, defined the ripening of the grapes. In particular, the veraison was very early, even compared to other early vintages.
Starting from the first week in September, temperatures dropped appreciably, and growing patterns were nearer seasonal averages, with considerable differences between day and night temperatures. This situation was further helped by the polyphenolic profile of the red wine grapes with a medium-long vegetative cycle, such as Nebbiolo and Barbera, for which the data differed to those recorded in other “hot” vintages. As a matter of fact, the values observed this year are better in terms of both quantity - accumulation of anthocyanins and tannins - and extractability, an essential factor in wines for ageing.
In short, the cycle was early this year, but the vine was able in any case to enjoy a full development cycle.
The lower yield recorded in the vineyard is in keeping with a year in which there was sparse rainfall.
Based on recorded data, this vintage can certainly be remembered as one of the earliest of recent years, given that the picking of the nebbiolo grapes began in the middle ten days of September, and ended early in October, around two weeks earlier than the norm.
The 2017 vintage has given us wines showing great promise considering the fears of the beginning of summer, confirming once more how well-suited and well-equipped the hills of the Langhe are for winegrowing.
The harvest took place from September 4th until 7th.