Analog Wines For the Digital Age

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Anfora love from Do Bianchi!

Jeremy Parzen has a great blog called Do Bianchi and recently wrote up the Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo Anfora wines from Francesco Cirelli.

Below is a link to the post.  Enjoy.

from Jeremy Parzen's blog, Do Bianchi

Monday, October 15, 2012

Harvest Update - Musto Carmelitano - Pian del Moro Vineyard . . .

Aglianico del Vulture grapes from Pian del Moro
from Elisabetta Musto Carmelitano

in allegato troverai le foto della vendemmia di pian del moro
(attached you will find some photos of the pian del moro)

il vigneto più vecchio
(the oldest vineyard)

qui oltre la raccolta a mano tutti i lavori vengono fatti manualmente perchè il sesto di impianto è vecchio 
(here, in addition to harvesting by hand, all the other work is also done by hand because the layout of the vineyard is old)

  quindi le file sono molto strette
(so the rows are very tight.)

annata stupenda le uve erano sane...
(Stupendous harvest as the grapes were very healthy . . . )

See how close the vineyards are?

Looking over the "Plain of the Blackberries".

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Harvest Update - G.D. Vajra

Barbera grapes

Looking out the windows of the cantina

Looking out over Barolo and all the Langhe

Grape seeds after fermentation.  Grape seed oil perhaps?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

San Polino Harvest 2012 update . . .

2012 Vendemmia at San Polino from Katia

Well here we are again, four days into the harvest...incredible to think that another year has passed.

We’re a good team this year, all with our different roles:

Matt and Luigi (Gigi)
Luigi, my husband, noting the characteristics of the different grape batches, organising the selections and deciding into which of the big wood vats they should be put to best bring out their potential for the making of fine wines.

Matt and Avni
Alberto, our right-hand-man and close colleague, managing the work in the fields, the picking schedules, the crushing of the clusters, back and forth on the tractor, coming in with full to bursting boxes and leaving with freshly washed ones to lay out again along the vineyard rows.

Paolo, a great guy from Montalcino, and Matt, our young, lovely Californian helper, lifting the full boxes in and out of the tractor and gently dropping the grapes, cluster by cluster into the de-stemmer.

Bianca and Susanna with the others in the fields picking while teasing and joking.

Altin, Alberto’s younger brother, filling in wherever necessary, on the tractor, smiling and generally being merry.

Katia, myself, in the winery, connecting the pumps, washing down the vats, sitting on top of them as the grapes come in to see that the consistency is right and that the vats don’t overflow, pumping the new wines over morning and evening……..and, of course, making sure that no-one goes hungry…..

The harvest has been surprising this year. The grapes are extraordinarily good, considering the rough ride they have had. Earlier in the summer we had come to expect a difficult harvest due to the dry winter and terrific heat from early June into late August, but, thank god, or whoever, it rained at the end of August/early September and the grapes were saved along with us.

We’re going to make some very wonderful wines, with great colour and an alcohol that will range from 13.5 to 14.7, just right. Early days, but that’s our prognosis. Watch out for San Polino Brunello di Montalcino 2012!!!!

I have my first morning off (semi, as I’m being called back work). With my hands blackened by the colour  and tannins of the grapes I’m clacking away on my laptop at the kitchen table. I can hear the pump working in the winery under the living room. We still have 2.5 hectares (6 acres) to pick. We’ll start on the fields in front of the house this afternoon. I wish our kids were here, three of them plus a grandchild, but university terms unobligingly start before the harvest – a very inconsiderate decision on the part of the school authorities, don’t they know any better??

Paolo got his head stuck in a vat
The grapes in the vats will start to ferment in a day or two, we don’t add in shop bought ferments, just allow the natural yeasts on the clusters to do the job, which ultimately makes for a far more authentic San Polino terroir wine.

The vats will explode into action one by one, and we’ll be taking turns at night duty for the next ten days or so making sure the bubbling grapes are kept control.

Katia and Matt
Gigi (husband) bought me a small loudspeaker for my laptop so I’ll have my music and audiobooks….long and wonderful nights.

We are right bang in the middle of our 2012 harvest!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Q & A with Katia of San Polino: new wood in the winery?

Tino made of Slavonion wood
JG (Justin Gallen): Looks like you got some new oak barrels for fermentation and aging. Can you tell me more about them?

KN (Katia Nussbaum): The round ones are called botti, singular, botte, and the tall ones are tini (tino). They hold from 25hectoliters (660 gallons) for the botte to 38hectoliters (1,000 gallons) for the tini. in our case.

We use the tini for fermenting the wines, you can see that they have large stainless steel openings and doors on the top and at the side, the top one for taking in the grapes at harvest and doing the pumping over and the bottom doors for taking out the skins later on in the process and then the sediments. The tini then double up as ageing tanks.

JG: Do you prefer tini, barrique or botte for aging the wines?

KN: We prefer though to use the botti for ageing the wines. They're good and have a much higher ratio of wood to wine as there is no stainless steel. They can be harder to clean though, because you can just jump into a tino to clean it out. (I say "just" but it actually takes around 4 hours with water and a sandpaper block and loads of muscle) whereas you'd have to have a shrinking pill to get into a botte, so we clean them with the high pressure water thing, idropulitrice, (pressure washer) I don't know its name in English as I never used them in London.

getting the new tino through the cellar door in the ancient building can be sometimes difficult

moving the new botte into position

JG: What kind of oak is it and where does it come from and how do you treat it?  Is it Slavonian?

KN: Yes, Slavonian oak. They're not burnt, like barrique, and give a soft spicy taste to the wines, vanilla, butter, cinamon etc. We do use some new or semi-new barrique on the brunello, or at least on 10% or so of the brunello. After fermentation and in around early January, when the malolactic fermentation is finished we take the lees and divide it up between our barriques (about 25/30 litres of lees per our newish/new barriques). We then fill the barriques with our best wines from the vintage and roll the barriques around with vigorous spins (they're on a contraption with wheels) every day for 4 months. This really does give the wines a sense of greater body.  They become a little yeasty, in a nice way, thicker and richer as the alchemy of yeast proteins mixing with wine and wood tannins occurs. In all the wine stays in the barriques for 6/9 months, more or less. Right now we are moving all the wines in the cantina around according to what we consider as appropriate to the wines. The real aim, apart from cleaning all the containers and making sure that the wines don't get too wooded, or not wooded enough, is to free up the fermentation tanks for the new grapes.

Next:  a harvest update from San Polino . . .

Lunch with Francesca Vaira at Terroni DTLA . . . best lunch ever!

Francesca Vaira  2010 Langhe Freisa Kye` Library  2006 Langhe Freisa Kye` Library 2014 Luigi Ba...