ANTEPRIMA
VINO NOBILE DI
MONTEPULCIANO
FORTEZZA MEDICEA | VIA DI SAN DONATO 21
MONTEPULCIANO | 10 - 11 - 12 FEBBRAIO 2024

THE WINES AND THE VINTAGE 2021

ANTEPRIMA
VINO NOBILE DI
MONTEPULCIANO
FORTEZZA MEDICEA | VIA DI SAN DONATO 21
MONTEPULCIANO | 10 - 11 - 12 FEBBRAIO 2024

THE WINES AND THE VINTAGE 2021

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The Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano D.O.C.G.

Vino Nobile is a visually clear, brilliant wine, of a lively garnet color and is characterized by an intense, persistent, broad and ethereal aroma. You can recognize hints of undergrowth, aromatic wood, small fruits and composite jam. On the palate the wine has an elegant and harmonious body, strength and character, it is dry with a long aromatic persistence.

After centuries of production in the Montepulciano area, July 12th 1966, the Controlled Designation of Origin (D.O.C.) “Vino Nobile di Montepulciano” was recognized.

On 1 July 1980 Nobile became the first wine in Italy to be authorized bear the bands of the Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin (D.O.C.G.).

The production of Vino Nobile is regulated by a production specification that preserves the following characteristics:

Grape varieties: Sangiovese, called “Prugnolo” in Montepulciano Gentile”, for a minimum of 70%. They can also compete up to to a maximum of 30% complementary red grape varieties suitable for cultivation in the Tuscany region, as long as the vines are a white berry does not exceed 5%.

The maximum yield per hectare of vineyard is 80 quintals with one effective wine yield of 70%

The wine can only be put on the market after two years of maturation (three for the Reserve) and in any case after passed strict controls consisting of chemical tests and organoleptic tests carried out by a ministerial commission;

Winemaking and maturation must take place mandatory in the Municipality of

Meteorological trend

2021 was characterized by a decidedly anomalous meteorological trend, both in terms of rainfall and some high temperature peaks recorded in spring. The total annual rainfall was 510 mm, a decidedly low value, about 25% less than the average annual rainfall of the area, but not unlike that of other years such as 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2017, looking at the last twenty years.

While the total amount of rainfall is aligned with past data, its distribution was exceptional. In fact, of the total 510 mm, 150 mm fell in January and February and 222 mm in November and December, while only 96 mm fell in the period between budbreak  and harvesting, that is to say, in the period from April to September. The water consumption of a vineyard caused by evaporation and transpiration on a fine summer day is equal to 3-4 mm, 96 mm is therefore just enough to compensate the water consumed by a vineyard in a summer month without rain. Despite the dry summer, the plants survived thanks to a rainfall of almost 600 mm between September 2020 and February 2021, which completely replenished the soil’s water reserves.

With regard to temperatures, the months that diverged significantly from the averages for the period were March and especially April, which recorded particularly low minimum values. In the night between 7 and 8 April, night temperatures fell below freezing point for many hours, reaching even -7 ° C on the valley floors, and causing serious damage to the opening buds. In the following days, minimum temperatures fell below zero on several occasions.

February, the summer months, particularly June and September, and November, were warmer than average, mainly due to the maximum temperatures.

 

Vegetative-production trend

Starting from March 25, and until April 3, the average temperatures steadily rose above 10 ° C and the plants started to bud. The arrival  of cold air masses in the days that followed caused the temperatures to drop again to the minimums indicated above  on 7 and 8 April.  The sharp temperature drop caused damage to the vineyards located at an altitude of less than 330-340 m asl; the more advanced the budding and the lower the vineyards, the more serious the damage.  In the vineyards with optimal exposure, where some foliage had fully opened, the damage was most serious with a bud mortaility as high as 50%..

With the drop in temperatures, which lasted for about two weeks, budding stopped, even at altitudes not reached by the frost, only to resume later and terminate in the last ten days of April.

The growth of the shoots in May was slow and poor, especially in the vineyards affected by the frost, which began to vegetate again thanks to the opening of the latent buds , while in June, with the temperature surge, it accelerated rapidly.

June ushered in the typical summer temperatures, also inducing the start of the flowering phase which, in line with budding times, lasted until the middle of the month.

The rest of the year was characterized by a gradual and progressive depletion of the water reserves of the soil to which the plants reacted by slowing down the growth of the shoots and forming ever smaller leaves and internodes; naturally, the berries also remained very small. In fact, the low temperatures of the first months of the year helped to limit evapotranspiration, but starting from June, with the rise in temperatures, the water consumption of the vineyards also increased. At this point, it was essential to turn over the soil,  especially the clayey variety that tends to form deep cracks with the dry weather, in order to limit evaporation as well as the green pruning operations aimed at reducing the foliage load and consequent water transpiration of the plants. As a paradoxical consequence of the combination of frost and drought,  , around mid-July in the “high” areas unaffected by frost, where grapes were present in normal quantities, the plants were already beginning to show the first signs of water stress, while in the “low” areas, where the clusters were very few due to the frost, the plants were still well hydrated.

Towards the end of July, in all the vineyards, the vegetative activity had ceased and veraison began which, partly due to the gradual sprouting and partly due to the scarce water resources of the soil, lasted about one month.

The infrequent and scarce rainfall between the end of August and the beginning of September had only a limited effect on the hydration of the vineyards and the subsequent ripening phase was quite rapid.

The harvesting operations in the various areas of the appellation took place largely in the second fortnight of September.

The impact of pathogens and parasites, apart from powdery mildew, was practically zero.

Frost and drought have led to a decline in production equivalent to about 30% of the average production of recent years.

Summary of the main phenological phases

Germination: March 28 – April 27.

Flowering: June 2-15.

Veraison: 27th July – 26th August.

 

The wines of 2021

The vinification of small and concentrated grapes, with a high skin-to-pulp ratio, required considerable attention; in particular, great expertise was required in the management of maceration (duration, handling, temperature, etc.) in order to modulate the extraction of polyphenols.

The wines of 2021, tasted after malo-lactic fermentation, have very decisive colors, intense aromas dominated by hints of ripe fruit and a remarkable structure characterized by abundant tannins and good acidity. On an analytical level, high values of intensity and shades of color, alcohol, extracts and total polyphenols and average levels of acidity and pH are detected.

Giovanni Capuano, February 21, 2022

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