“Non Si Siedono”

“Non Si Siedono”
These are words borrowed from Alex Sanchez at Brovia which for us perfectly sum up all that is great about this vintage: “They don’t sit down.” For as generous and richly-fruited as these 2015s are, the best wines clearly have posture and a certain energy. They are alive. Silvia Altare goes as far as to call this a “radiant” vintage, whilst the team at Paolo Scavino consider the wines “amazing” and Castello di Verduno wine-maker Mario Andrion thinks “it is one of the most beautiful vintages ever.”

A large part of the explanation for this is a natural one; a hot summer offset by early rain and cooler late season temperatures. The second is how producers adapted to conditions. Not de-leafing, allowing yields to be higher than usual to preserve acidity levels and also going very gently on the winemaking to not extract too much from the seeds and thick skins. The resulting wines are aromatic and forthcoming, mostly offering ripe red fruit flavours. Structured but generous, many of the wines are already showing well but have the framework, concentration and balancing freshness to age well into their second decade at least. Depending on who you speak to comparisons with other vintages bounced around from 2001 and 2007 to a blend of 2011 and 2012. This may not be a 2010 in terms of ultimate greatness and consistency but the quality bar is really very high in this vintage and there is a broad palette of very good, site specific wines to choose from. The wines clearly have structure but leave your mouth full of sweet fruit.

The Season
2015 in the Langhe was less hot, dry or extreme than rumour would have it. Many producers were keen to point out the differences between 2015 and other “hot” vintages such as 2011, 2009 and 2003. For 2015 was overall a balanced season. One key element was the snowy winter and wet spring that helped build up water reserves deep below the ground. The other was mid-August rain and a return to cooler temperatures right the way through to harvest. Temperatures that were below the ten-year average. These conditions bookended and helped alleviate the two-month spell of hot and dry weather that fell in between, during June and July. Growers did have to pay attention and adapt to the conditions, managing yields and canopies accordingly – ensuring grapes were well protected from the sun. Water reserves kept vines growing gradually and before stress had any chance of kicking in rain arrived in the middle of August. The cooling nights that arrived at the end of August and lasted throughout September were ideal conditions for Nebbiolo, which likes to ripen gradually and steadily. Producers either harvested during the last week of September or the first week of October, which generally was a week earlier than usual for most estates.

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