Of the past years, the 2016 vintage was certainly one of the longest-lasting ones. The first signs indicating how long the vegetative cycle would last could be seen at the beginning of the year. Mild temperatures and scarce precipitations, the same weather pattern of the first part of winter, marked the whole month of January and the first part of February. Towards the end of February, and for the whole month of March, the temperatures decreased and the precipitations became abundant enough to create a good water supply within the earth, although not as much as what was accumulated the year before. Compared to 2015, these prolonged cold temperatures caused a delay in the vegetative awakening estimated to have been nearly ten days long for all varietals. Spring began with significant showers, yet these did not cause pathological damage as they came while the plants were in their more resistant vegetative stages and while average temperatures were still relatively low, mainly due to colder night-time temperatures.
This phenological delay lasted until the end of summer, which, despite its late start, continued until the end of September. All the grapes were healthy and even hailstorms were less intense and frequent compared to the year prior. The harvesting of red grapes began with Dolcetto immediately after the 20th of September and continued without interruptions until the middle of October with Nebbiolo. The harvested Dolcetto was in splendid shape: there was no early-drop of the grapes, as sometimes happens, and this is thanks to the moderate temperature shifts between daytime and night-time during the last two weeks of harvest. In terms of sugar accumulation, 2016 was a very good year for Dolcetto. All varietals were able to easily reach full ripening, both from a technological and a phenological point of view, as can be proven by the low quantity of malic acid, an important index of maturation (about 2,5 g/l for Barbera, 1,5 g/l for Dolcetto, and less than 1 for Nebbiolo). The developmental delay of the first part of the year was compensated for during the months of August and September. The second part of September was especially crucial for the components that determine the structure of the wine, particularly the storing of phenolic substances. As we wait to be able to truly evaluate the actual quality of the 2016 wines, from the analytical results we can expect them to have an excellent balance, significant aromas, and great structure, although in some cases the alcoholic content will be lower than 2015 wines. It is therefore fair to expect this to be a vintage with significant qualities, a vintage that will be talked about for a long time.
DOGLIANI SAN LUIGI
METEOROLOGICAL DATA 01/04-30/09
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Thermal summation of degree-days >10°