Another year and another harvest have come to an end at Fattoria di Montemaggio. As usual, it has been a busy period starting with the Chardonnay in early September and then step-by-step picking the different grapes to end with the Sangiovese and the Pugnitello.
How was this year’s harvest in the Chianti Classico region? Will it be a good vintage? Let us find out what has been said about this year’s harvest overall in Tuscany and, more specifically, at Fattoria di Montemaggio.
A ‘stellar’ year according to the Consortium of Chianti Classico
In the 2019 harvest report, the Consortium of Chianti Classico says it foresees a great and classic vintage. The cold and the rain in the spring, especially in May, did luckily not result in any larger damages. Rather, it only slowed down the vegetative cycle. Compared to the recent more warmer years with anticipated harvests, this was positive as the lengthening of the time frames brings back memories of the great vintages in the 1980s. The good acidity and moderate alcohol level are factors that make the consortium already dream of great wines to come.
The summer was warm but not too much so and the precipitations were also fairly regular which followed by a diurnal range in temperature allowed for a good phenolic maturation. The grapes were indeed overall of very good quality without being hit by any diseases. The quantity is furthermore considered to be in line with 2018.
Therefore, the consortium has been talking about a ‘stellar’ year and predicting great Chianti Classico wines as a result of the 2019 harvest.
Read more about climate change in the article Viticulture and the Impact of Climate Change.
Harvest of 2019 at Fattoria di Montemaggio
What is the verdict of the harvest this year at Fattoria di Montemaggio then? Does it correspond to the general report of the Consortium of Chianti Classico?
Well, yes and no.
May was indeed cold and with lots of rain which delayed the start of the vegetative cycle. Ilaria, the Manager of Fattoria di Montemaggio, even feared that the maturation process would be considerably slowed down. On the cold spring followed a very warm June though and the time lost was recuperated fairly quickly.
Ilaria says that they, however, had problems with powdery mildew in some vineyard plots due to the heavy rains during May. Therefore, some parts of the vineyards were damaged and not harvested in the end.
The precipitations in September and in early October were also disturbing and they, therefore, decided to start picking the Sangiovese grapes around the 15th of October. Ilaria stresses that when it comes to the Sangiovese, the grapes in some vineyard plots were of really bad quality this year while in most plots the grapes were of excellent quality. The skins were thick and crunchy, and she predicts a great vintage when it comes to the Sangiovese. Indeed, Ilaria thinks that they might produce a Chianti Classico Gran Selezione wine with these premium Sangiovese grapes.
It was a fantastic year for the Pugnitello where the grapes were of superior quality and a higher quantity than normally. It might have been thanks to the pruning carried out with care and attention. The Pugnitello grape indeed requires a lot of tender love and care.
The Ciliegiolo and Merlot grapes were also of optimal quality this year while there were some problems with the Malvasia Nera. A part of the Malvasia Nera grapes was too damaged to pick while others were of good quality.
As you might have noticed, the grapes were either of really good quality or too damaged to be harvested. There seem to have been no middle way. The quantity was overall good and in line with 2018 even though not as high as it could have been.
Conclusion of the harvest
The harvest at Fattoria di Montemaggio more or less corresponds to the report of the Consortium of Chianti Classico. There was some damage due to diseases at Fattoria di Montemaggio and probably also in other areas of Chianti Classico, even if the consortium did not mention that in their report. May was a harsh month for the viticulture in Tuscany even if most wine producers then managed to recuperate the delay in the vegetative process.
It is still to be seen if 2019 will be a great vintage in line with those in the 1980s.
Isn’t it time to get that longevity back in the Sangiovese wines after some very warm years?
Chianti Classico wines are on the rise
Chianti Classico is indeed on the move for the moment by getting top scores by many of the wine critics and in the wine guides.
Erik Asimov talked about Chianti Classico wines in the article Chianti Classico, Beyond the Straw-Covered Bottle in the New York Times in June where he stated that
Chianti Classico wines are better than they have ever been.
Furthermore, Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, James Suckling, and Vinous.com all have Chianti Classico wines in their top rankings. In Italy, Chianti Classico wines are doing well also in wine guides such as the Gambero Rosso Guide, Vinibuoni d’Italia of the Touring Club Guide, and in the Best Italian Wine Awards.
We Chianti, the online magazine with a focus on Chianti and Tuscany writes that
We could certainly affirm that the Chianti [Classico] wine is King
What do you think about Chianti Classico wines? Please write a comment with your thoughts.
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Click on the following link to read more about the Montemaggio wines.
Written by Katarina Andersson