Bottega del vino Dolcetto di Dogliani

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2012 HARVEST- THE SIBERIAN COLD AND SUDDEN TEMPERATURE CHANGE VINTAGE


2012 was another year of climate anomalies, a standard feature of Langa wine vintages by now. December 2011 and January 2012 saw neither rain nor snow (the last rain fell in early November, with floods hitting the Liguria region), soil as dry as in July, very mild temperatures and big night/day temperature swing. Cold weather returned at the end of the month, with heavy snowfall until early February and the arrival of the Siberian cold front. The weather conditions of 2012 are very similar to those experienced in 1985, and so it appears that the Siberian cold sequence is repeated every 27-29 years (1929-1956-1985-2012). However, things changed radically and rapidly from the third ten days of the month on: the last week of February brought a reversal of the trend, with the highest February temperatures ever registered before in certain areas. And yet, despite the abnormal heat in the final days of the month, February 2012 has gone down in history as the coldest February since 1965. The beginning of spring saw a completely dry and cool March, with budbreak taking place one week earlier than in 2011, while April and May were quite rainy and cool. In May, it began raining again while temperatures rose steadily to high values. The combination of heavy rainfall and high temperatures accelerated the growth cycle and the phenological stages. The rainy weather gave way to a cool and dry June with humidity and temperature levels rising again in the second half of the month, as further proof of the year’s temperature “roller coaster”. By the end of June, summer was in full swing with medium-high July temperatures rising to the peak in mid-August and little rainfall, but water stress did not have any significant effect on the plants, as the water supply proved to be adequate owing to the abundant winter and spring showers. A very hot period was followed by rainy weather from August 31 to September 5 which, given the early ripening year, could have negatively impacted the plants’ health. In fact, harvesting began immediately on the early varieties and was prolonged into mid-October. The weather was nice throughout September, with the usual sudden changes in temperature. The harvesting of the Dolcetto and Barbera varieties was followed, in early October, by the picking of Nebbiolo grapes in a context of significant daily temperature swing, which contributed to the good phenolic ripening and alcohol levels slightly below the latest vintages.

Text by Gian Piero Romana