The winter was not particularly cold, with slightly below average rainfall, which contributed towards slightly earlier than â€śnormalâ€ť budbreak.
From the last ten days of May, however, a series of bad weather conditions brought rain almost every day alternating with short clear periods, through to mid-June. This caused both a slowing of the foliage development, and consequent prolongation of the flowering stage, and a significant increase in attacks from parasites. However, from mid-June onwards the weather improved considerably and temperatures rose to above average levels for this season; along with an absence of rainfall this encouraged foliage development.
As often happens in great vintage years, towards the end of July, at the beginning of veraison, the plants were under moderate stress from lack of water which caused a halt in bud development. The continuing absence of rain slowed down the ripening of the grapes slightly in the month of August. The rain arrived in September along with a fall in temperatures which further delayed ripening while solving the problem of drought.
When the temperatures rose again in mid-September the ripening process accelerated and by the first ten days of October the grapes were perfectly ripe. The weather was fine throughout the harvesting period, from the last week of September to the first week of October.
The extremely variable weather conditions throughout the year affected the ripening of the grapes, requiring specific and careful agronomical procedures in the vineyards to avert parasite invasion and, in particular, uneven ripening of the fruit. However, the vintage year of 2008 is expected to produce wines with good ageing prospects.
Summary of phonological stages
Budbreak: first ten days of April
Flowering: late May â€“ first ten days of June
Beginning of veraison: end of July
End of veraison: middle ten days of August
The 2008 wines
Early analysis of the wines when malolactic fermentation was complete definitively confirm what the quality of the grapes had suggested: average alcohol content, total acidity, dry extract levels, total polyphenols and intensity of colour.
These results were further confirmed by tasting the wines: not excessively rich in extract, excellent balance in the flavour and interesting aromas. Wines, therefore, whose most significant features will be balance and elegance.
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