The climatic conditions this year furnished great prospects for the 2000 harvest, promising characteristics generally comparable in quality terms to those of the previous vintages.
Climatic and phenological pattern
A mild winter in the Langa and Roero with infrequent snowfalls led to early germination of all varieties. A wet spring – with a high risk of downy mildew attacks – was followed by a long, sunny, well-ventilated period with pollination of the grape flowers and development of the berries. Véraison – when the grapes begin to mature and change colour – ran its normal course in favourable atmospherical conditions. From mid-August to mid-September, south Piedmont was affected by anticyclones, which produced a long period of sunny weather, with high temperatures and excellent conditions for the picking of the medium and early ripening varieties. From mid-September the atmospherical conditions started to change gradually, with rain and clouds alternating with days of sunshine. The late-ripening varieties did not suffer from this unstable weather, as the fruit was very sound, so the grapes picked were still of the finest quality.
Comparison with the 1999 vintage
The grapes picked in the 2000 harvest provided musts with generally higher contents of sugars and total acidity than the 1999 vintage, together with more intense, finer aromas which will result in the sixth consecutive vintage of the highest calibre. The yield was slightly lower than in the previous year.
The white wine varieties
The climatic conditions in 2000 benefited the production of the quality white wine varieties, such as Arneis, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, with wines of good structure and acidity – synonymous with freshness, finesse and elegance – rounded off by long, delicate aromas.
The red wine varieties
Any assessment of the quality of the red varieties grown in the Langhe must make a distinction between early and late ripeners. The former – such as Pinot Noir, Freisa, Pelaverga, and in particular Dolcetto – were penalized by higher than average temperatures in the second half of August and early September. This resulted in partial drying of the grapes, a lower yield at the wine-making stage, a higher concentration of cellular juice, and well-balanced wines with fruity varietal bouquets. The late-ripening varieties – Nebbiolo and Barbera – reached September in excellent health, taking advantage of the alternation of occasional rain with sunny periods, and gradually dropping temperatures which helped the grapes to remain compact and complete their maturation normally. Barbera yielded an excellent degree of alcohol with average acidity, a high content of phenols, and lingering, intense aromas. The Nebbiolo-based wines – Barolo, Barbaresco, Roero and Nebbiolo d’Alba – had high alcohol contents, deep colours, full, complex aromas, excellent structure and a wealth of phenols. All these features are grounds for expecting five-star wines capable of entering successfully onto the world stage and satisfying the most demanding palates.
And that makes six
With this intriguing, mysterious year 2000 at the turn of the century, the Langhe will be treating all winelovers to a sixth splendid vintage featuring outstanding qualities to be discovered upon tasting!