Grape harvest 2020
A harvest to remember for sure this of the year 2020, but one that proves that, unlike what happened in many other sectors, nature does not stop and the Italian wine production confirmed itself as one of excellent quality. Climate-wise this vintage was exceptional; however, it was also marked by a drop in the global production of approximately 1%, which in the center and south reached 7%.
Italy is still the largest wine producer with 47.2 million hectoliters, followed by France with 45 million and Spain with 42 million hectoliters.
The climate change of recent years caused the harvest to occur slightly earlier than usual in several Italian regions, including Tuscany.
«At first, it seemed that the harvest had to be postponed by a week respect to last year and ripening was slightly slower for the earlier varieties, but then the warm wind and above-average temperatures led to the Sangiovese harvest to happen a week earlier,» the Sensi winery says.
«Merlot and Ciliegiolo yielded excellent results, with good acidity that contributes to their organoleptic freshness, intensity, and beautiful color. In the later varieties such as Sangiovese, thanks to the altitude of our vineyards, the cool area, and the exposure of our hillsides, we were able to obtain the first «Rosato della Fattoria» wine marked by extraordinary fruitiness, structure, and balance. The Crus, the best Sangiovese della Fattoria, are still being processed but from our first tastings, they feature a nice intense color. They are fruity and with sweet and silky tannins».
All of these characteristics benefit from the unique climate of Montalbano, characterized by a fresh terroir, with greater temperature fluctuations between day and night that helped to overcome the seasonal trend of heat and almost no rain and to confirm the excellent health of the grapes and their exceptional quality.
The end of September and the beginning of October are always marked by the grape harvest and by grape drying. In fact, in this period the grapes are hung in the farm’s drying rooms and left in this perfectly ventilated environment designed specifically to provide adequate window ventilation supported by fans. This is an ancient technique now monitored through cutting-edge technology, continuous temperature control, relative humidity, and airflow speed checks. It is always a biochemical process that transforms the grapes and that leads, with the right temperature adjustments, to manage their polyphenolic components optimally, without excessive reduction, and thus allowing them to maintain their ability to express aromas and phenolic substances that lead to interesting evolutions in this ancient technique.
«Grape-drying, for me is an extraordinary process that can add to the wine pleasantness as well as modern aromatic and olfactory intensity and I am fascinated by the fact that this is produced by way of such an ancient technique. The process of hanging the grapes, bunch by bunch by hand is a tradition that expresses all the value of our work, meticulous, slow where time has its importance if linked to the painstaking care of manual practices, and therefore cannot be accelerated or mechanized. For me, therefore, the «Governo all’Uso Toscano» represents a concept of timeless youth, in the sense of freshness and drinkability obtained from a process that has remained unchanged over time and that is extraordinarily capable of adding while taking away».
The «photographic story» of our grape drying this year is shown below.
The wine of the month
TOSCANA ROSSO IGT
The result of this ancient technique is a wine capable of surprising for its aromatic pleasantness, with a wealth of fruity notes and full taste.
A complex technique split into two stages:
A first portion of the grapes is fermented for 10-12 days using pumping over and delestage techniques, followed by subsequent maceration, malolactic fermentation, and decanting. This is how the «new» wine gets ready to be «governato». Another portion of the grapes, selected and harvested manually, is dried by hanging the bunches on chains for about 30 days. After that, it is destemmed and poured into the «new wine» already fermented by carrying out a second slow re-fermentation at a controlled temperature. This procedure, known as «governo all’uso toscano», dates back to around 1800 and consists of drying a portion of the best grapes on special supports then using them to activate a second fermentation of the original must.
The wine ages partially in large barrels for about 6 months, partially in steel containers with micro-oxygenation, and for a small portion in terracotta containers.
It has an intense ruby color, with sweet fruit, cherries and morello cherries, berry jam tones, and floral hints. To the palate it is soft and fresh, characterized by a maturity and a natural sweetness that are specific features of the Governo Toscano wine with which it is produced.
Governato > Decanter – 90 Points – Silver Medal 2020
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