General meteorological and climatic conditions
The 2007 wine vintage enjoyed a very particular climatic pattern, with an exceptionally early bud burst due to a particularly mild winter which reduced the period of plant dormancy. Flowering began around 5-10 May, approximately twenty days earlier than in 2006, and was followed – during the growth of the bunches and the berries – by a cool period with frequent rainfall. Though this slowed down the phenological cycle, it only partially reduced the advanced development of the preceding months. There was no rainfall in July, when the temperatures rose although the number of days of oppressive heat was considerably limited by constant ventilation and low relative humidity.
Healthwise, fungal attacks were limited and low in virulence, but a number of particularly hot days in July caused sunburn in some berries. Some vineyards in the areas of Dogliani and Mondovì were hit by hailstorms early in June, as was a limited part of the Barolo winegrowing area between the communes of Castiglione Falletto, Barolo and Monforte d’Alba at the end of the month. Though the ripening of the grapes was further delayed by slightly below-average temperatures in August, the harvest began around ten days earlier than in 2006. Picking began on 20 August for the earlier-ripening Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties used to produce sparkling wine cuvées, followed by Moscato, and gradually all the other grapes. The health of the grapes at harvest-time in the Langhe and Roero proved to be excellent, with an estimated 10-15% reduction in the yield.
Among the early-ripeners, very high concentrations of sugar were recorded in the Pinot Noir compared to the previous vintage, while for all the other varieties, such as Arneis, Chardonnay, Favorita, Sauvignon Blanc and Dolcetto, the average sugar content was the same as – or in some cases slightly lower than – in 2006, though with an optimal acid framework. The medium-late and late varieties – Barbera, Freisa, Nebbiolo and Pelaverga – also ripened relatively early, with a high concentration of sugar which was in line with last year’s data and capable of producing wines of excellent body and structure, colour and aromas.
Comments on the vintage
The grape-harvest began considerably earlier than usual in 2007, and the quality of the grapes was beyond all expectations.
The picking of Chardonnay began around 20 August, followed by the Sauvignon Blanc, Favorita, Arneis and Dolcetto. For the later varieties, the harvest commenced on 10 September, with Barbera followed ten or so days afterwards by the Nebbiolo on the right and left sides of the River Tanaro. The general situation on drawing off is particularly positive, with very good alcohol in the later varieties and average levels for the early-ripeners, along with balanced acid frameworks and very intense aromas. The 2007 vintage can be considered as “abnormal” in terms of its general climate, with a particularly mild winter, not too hot a summer, little rainfall, and a harvest resulting in a lower volume than usual, but offering excellent quality.