The climatic conditions experienced over the 2005 vintage were within the norm, and overall more than satisfactory.
A relatively mild winter with limited precipitations was followed by an early spring with cool temperatures, but little rainfall.
Temperatures rose substantially towards the end of spring and the beginning of summer, reaching well above the average for the time of year in June. Relatively cool weather was enjoyed in the first half of July, with no rain at all, whereas the second half proved to be extremely hot.
Contrary to all expectations, August turned out to be cooler than usual, but with clear skies and no persistent rainfall, and though September started out with a few days of rain, the climate then settled down to summer-like temperatures until the end of the month. The phases in the phenological development of the vine occurred normally in 2005. After a slow start owing to winter making a late comeback, the grapes ripened regularly, helped by normal rainfall, average temperatures in spring, and a summer which will certainly not be remembered as having been particularly hot.
The weather was rather unsettled throughout the summer, with the water supply varying considerably from area to area: while some were on the brink of a drought, violent storms elsewhere led to above-average quantities of water for the time of year.
Unlike 2004, when the whole of September was unconditionally positive for the harvest, in 2005 the first few days of the month saw rainfall of varying intensity. This then fortunately gave way to good conditions, with the substantial differences between maximum and minimum temperatures which benefit the accumulation of sugars and aromatic substances in the grapes. This period of meteorological stability enabled growers to pick the grapes without difficulty. Some days of rain followed at the beginning of October, but the harvesting of the nebbiolo around Barbaresco and in the Roero had practically finished, while in the Barolo growing area more than half of the crop was safely in the winery by the time the rain came.
Overall, even following the rain the grapes picked in the Langhe and Roero in 2005 were healthy, with high concentrations of sugar, acidity in the norm, and an excellent phenological makeup. This positive result could not have been achieved without the attentive agronomical practices of summer pruning and thinning of the bunches, showing once again that certain levels of excellence can only be attained by operating with care and far-sightedness in the vineyard. Early signs in the cellar point to a very promising 2005. The new wines have good alcohol levels and colour, and intense aromatic sensations.
Quantity: The 2005 undoubtedly produced a lower yield than the 2004 vintage, with a reduction that can be estimated at around 10-15% less than average.
Quality: For the wines of the Langhe and Roero, on a hypothetical scale from 1 to 10 the 2005 vintage would come out very near the top, meriting maybe an 8.