A slight drop in production and a long growing season show promise for the 2019 vintage
The Consorzio di Tutela Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe e Dogliani, the association representing almost 500 wineries in Piedmont, Italy, is pleased to release the 2019 Barolo & Barbaresco harvest report. Unlike 2018, which was particularly precocious, 2019 has demonstrated to be a classic vintage, showing signs of good structure, ideal balance, and excellent aging ability. This news comes in anticipation of the Barolo & Barbaresco World Opening event in New York City, February 4th and 5th, 2020, where an array of vintages currently available on the market will be poured for press, trade, and consumers.
The growth year started slowly for Barolo & Barbaresco due to winter weather conditions pushing through February, followed by a period of rain and low temperatures until the middle of March. April brought continued wet conditions with more moderate temperatures and the opportunity for water to accumulate in the soil. Due to this water accumulation and a spike in temperatures during June, rapid plant growth occurred at the beginning of Summer. As a result, vineyard managers were required to pay close attention to protecting the plant from potential health issues. The hottest period in the season was recorded between the last week in June and the first in July, followed by days on which milder temperatures alternated with rain. A second heatwave was recorded at the end of July, ending in intense storms that did not damage the vines; the remainder of the summer season was marked by a mild climate, with regular, sporadic rainfall.
September began with a hailstorm that caused substantial damage in two localized areas on the hills around Alba, missing most of the Barolo & Barbaresco region. Harvest commenced for Nebbiolo during the second half of October and exhibited fruit with good sugar levels and a superb polyphenol profile. The wines can be expected to have brilliant color, excellent structure, and age ability. Overall, 2019 is a traditional vintage with high-quality production despite a slight drop in quantity in comparison to 2018.
“The 2019 harvest hasn’t been abundant, but the quality of grapes is well above average,” confirmed the Consorzio’s technical office, “As a result, we can expect great wines with distinctive character.”