Here’s the history of vintages in Roero since 2000:
The vintage began in the name of a winter without any particular problems, characterized by mild temperatures and little rainfall, especially snowy ones. Spring was dry and sunny, still with mild temperatures, suggesting an early vintage. However, from May until late June there were a considerable number of rainy days, with a slowdown in vegetative development and an accumulation of water in the soil. The Arneis harvest began in the last week of August, with sugar content and acidity levels that on average turned out to be lower than in the past, but remained stable in the vinification, thus ensuring a good balance. As for Nebbiolo, the high temperatures in September accelerated its ripening, but with constant growth, making the grapes reach an optimal sugar content between the end of September and the beginning of October. Nebbiolo was thus presented to harvest in optimal conditions: the not excessive night temperatures led to a rapid accumulation of polyphenols, already at excellent values around mid-September, and also from the point of view of acidity there was no decrease typical of warm vintages characterized by a fairly short cycle.
The winter season was particularly long, with low temperatures until mid-March. The heavy rains in April caused a slow start, but led to a significant accumulation of water in the soil, compensating for the low winter rainfall. The unstable weather, with average temperatures not high, continued throughout the month of May, confirming a delay of about two weeks compared to the vegetative trend of recent years, in line with a more traditional trend. The high temperatures in June, combined with the availability of water in the soil, created the conditions for rapid vegetative development. The hottest period of the season was recorded between the last week of June and the first of July, followed by days with milder temperatures alternating with some rains. At the end of July was recorded the second heat wave of the summer, which ended with thunderstorms, while the rest of the summer season was spent in a mild climate with sporadic and regular rainfall, apart from a strong rain beginning of September. The Arneis harvest began towards the end of August, and the wines are well balanced, with rather high alcoholic grades (as happens more and more often) but with a higher than average acidity levels, a factor that should guarantee freshness and the persistence of the aromas. The Nebbiolo was harvested at the beginning of October and with “classic” analytical parameters: good sugar content and a polyphenolic framework suitable for ensuring structured wines with very high aging potential. A vintage that can therefore be defined as traditional, with a quality production and a slight decrease in quantity compared to the previous year.
The year 2018 opened with a long winter, with temperatures often below zero Celsius degrees, and full of rainfalls that restored the soil’s water supply (which reduced during the previous year’s climatic trend). In spring, after an average April, the months of May and June saw frequent precipitations and not high temperatures, which led to forecast a “classic” vintage, in any case not anticipated as the previous one, lately confirmed by the continuation of the season. The bloom went on in regularly, with optimal climatic conditions, suggesting that the year would have been abundant – as it was. As for health problems, the most significant difficulties came from the presence of downy mildew. The gray rot led some attacks in the early part of September, due to a hot and humid climate, while there was some intense but confined hail. The summer from July to mid-August has proposed above-average temperatures, favoring the maturation of the grapes without, however, being ahead on the times of the harvest, for both the Arneis and the Nebbiolo. The month of September, as it has been for some years now, had a positive climate trend, contributing in particular to the Arneis’ quality. In October the temperature rose again, with a dry time until the end of the month, allowing the successful development of the Nebbiolo harvest, which began at the beginning of the month and lasted about three weeks. The sugar gradations increased in the last period of the season as there was an acceleration on the phenolic maturity that allowed to arrive at harvest with excellent parameters. All this, combined with an ideal acidity level, will obtain harmonious wines with a superb predisposition to aging.
The wine-growing year 2017 went through a warm climate with little rainfalls. The winter was mild with few snowfalls, while the spring distinguished itself for some rains and temperatures above the seasonal average that encouraged the vegetative development of the vine, which immediately proved to be anticipated and kept this trend for the rest of the season. At the end of April there was a sharp drop of temperatures, especially at night, and since May a long period of good weather began, which guaranteed excellent conditions under the phytosanitary aspect. The highest temperatures registered during the summer months were above average but, unlike other hot years, there have been cooler nights. Between the end of August and the beginning of September, the long-awaited rains allowed the accumulation of water that helped to rebalance, in part, the water supply of the grapes. Starting from the first week of September, the temperatures dropped and it there has been the chance to notice a trend closer to the seasonal average, with significant changes in temperature between day and night. Nebbiolo has thus recorded better values than the classic hot vintages, both concerning the accumulation of anthocyanins and tannins, both regarding extractability, essential for the aging process. The harvest was one of the earliest in recent years: it started in the last ten days of August with Arneis, and ended at the beginning of October with Nebbiolo, about two weeks ahead its typical time and with a lower quantity yield, a report in line with a year with so little rainfall. The maturation of Arneis has however brought a right balance between structure and aroma, while, regarding Nebbiolo, the high alcohol content did not compromise its acidity and freshness.
The winter was drought, without snow. From the end of April to the entire month of May there has been a considerable amount of rain, from the end of April throughout May, followed by a beautiful summer, with a great temperature range, warm during the day and below 20°C in the evening, until the end of August. The 2016 harvest was certainly one of the longest-lasting in recent years and very classic, from the end of August to the end of September for the Arneis, and from 10 to 22 October for the Nebbiolo. The very dry year (about 340 mm of rain) has resulted in Arneis of surprising acidity and at the same time of considerable aromatic richness and pulp. The only small problem was an increase in alcohol content in the first 15 days of September, which were warmer than in August. The fear of getting too much alcoholic Roero however was denied: the alcohol was average, and the Roero are characterized by an excellent balance with big bouquets and an excellent structure.
The winter was marked by plenty of snow, providing the soil with an excellent supply of water. Combined with mild spring temperatures from February on, this factor brought forward the vegetative cycle. The season continued with a series of rainfalls between the end of May and the first ten days of June. From the second half of June throughout the month of July, there was no rain and temperatures stabilized to above-average maximums, with peaked at around 40°C and averages substantially above 30°C. However, the vineyards were not stressed by the heat, thanks to the winter water supply. From the point of view of the health of the grapes, the vintage can be recorded as one of the best of recent years. For the Arneis, the harvesting began at the end of August and lasted until the middle of September. The health of the grapes was excellent, as were the very positive analytical data. The Nebbiolo ripened perfectly, though slightly earlier than over the last few years. The excellent quality of the tannins emerging on analysis will ensure elegant, long-lasting wines with good structure. In general, considering the great balance shown in the ripening data we can say that all the conditions are in place for a truly great vintage.
The year 2014 was one of the most complex years in history as it regards the management of the vineyard. The winter had mild temperatures, while spring arrived early, leading to a precocious vegetative development. The beginning of the summer reported average temperatures, maintaining the early arrival of the vegetative cycle. The amount of summer rains, however, was above average. The amount of rainfalls combined with average high temperatures created the ideal conditions for the breakout of fungus attacks, leading to a reduction of the production. The end of the season, however, was favorable, with good temperature fluctuations in the months of September and October that decisively favored the maturation of the Nebbiolo and its phenolic profile. The Arneis reported sugar content levels that were not very high, with a pronounced acidity that should guarantee its aromatic freshness.
The year 2013 was characterized by a rather late harvest, started 15 days later in comparison to the last 10 years and concluded for the Nebbiolo during the first days of November. The beginning of the vegetative cycle of the vine depended on the low temperatures of March and April and on the abundant precipitations of April and May. The conditions improved in June, but in spite the favorable summer conditions, the vines were not able to recover from the conditions of the previous months. The good fruit set stage along with the ideal water supply favored the development of larger clusters, heavy and compact, in comparison to the averages of the last years. The Roero Arneis wines have a good aromatic profile and an ideal acidity, with lower sugar content levels in comparison to the last few years. The Nebbiolo benefitted from the final stage of the season, which presented ideal weather conditions for the phenolic synthesis, characterized by warm days with plenty of light and cool nights.
The winter was particularly harsh, with temperature drops as low as -15°C towards the end of January, low temperatures and heavy snowfalls for the entire month of February. Spring was cool and rainy between March and April, while the temperature increased in the month of May. Rainfalls during the first days of June led to weak fruit set stage, thus reducing the number of grapes per cluster. Summer was characterized by medium-high temperatures and few precipitations. The Arneis harvest began during the first week of September. The Roero Arneis wines showed a lower acidity in comparison to those of 2011, but were well-balanced overall. The Nebbiolo harvest began at the beginning of October, benefitting from a noticeable period of temperature fluctuations beginning on the second half of September. The quantity and quality of the phenolic substances was very good, leading to well-structured Roero wines that are suitable for aging, with alcohol contents that are slightly below average in comparison to the previous years.
The year 2011 will be remembered as an unusual one: precocious and with low yields. The winter was normal, both in temperatures and precipitations, which the increased in the month of March. The high temperatures in April led to an early vegetative development of at least two weeks. The high average temperatures in August (above 30°C) reduced the quantity of grapes produced by the plants. The harvest of the Arneis had begun already by the end of August, leading to Roero Arneis of good structure and with surprising aromas. For the Nebbiolo, the rainfalls during the first weekend of September and the lowering of the night temperatures during the second half of the month were essential, leading to Roero wines that were overall well balanced – from the sugar contents, acidity level to the phenolic components – with very interesting aromas, especially for wines of medium-long aging.
The year was characterized by a harsh winter, with heavy snowfalls that guaranteed a good water supply. The beginning of summer was characterized by heavy precipitations, some low hailstorms and mild temperatures; there was an increase in temperature during the last ten days of August and during the month of September that led to ideal day/night temperature fluctuations. The Roero Arneis resulted slightly less alcoholic and with a lighter body when compared to previous years, but with intense aromas, well balanced and with a good freshness. The Nebbiolo benefited from the good weather conditions of the month of September, making up for the slight delay in the maturation, with a good accumulation of increasing sugars and an acidity level that was more than acceptable. The maturation of the phenolic elements (essential for the body and the aging ability of the wine) was ideal, leading excellent Roero wines that can age well.
This year began with a winter that saw heavy snowfalls and the beginning of a rainy spring, all of which guaranteed a good water supply of the soil. The month of April was characterized by several rainfalls, which along with the mild temperatures, helped the appearance of the peronospora; the month of May was dry and ventilated, with an early (although, soon counterbalanced) phenological development of the vines. The year will also be remembered for an irregular maturation period, with almost no summer rainfalls and a heat wave during the second half of August. From a technological maturation perspective, it was a hot year, and it falls between 2003 and 2007 with a high sugar content levels, a quantity of malic acid that was below average, and a complete maturation. The harvest of the Arneis began around the 10th of September, and the Roero Arneis was balanced and with a good structure. The phenolic maturation of the Nebbiolo, as well, was very similar to that of 2003, leading to rich and well-structured Roero wines.
The year 2008 was not an easy one. After a normal winter, beginning in the month of May and for a whole month after, there was a period of heavy (almost daily) rainfalls; some vines suffered heavy damage due to hailstorms and heavy winds. The beginning of a humid summer led to a noticeable delay in the veraison and the sugar synthesis, which developed in a similar way as in 2004. From the end of August, however, there were over 50 days of steady weather, with mild day temperatures and cool nights. These conditions favored the Arneis, which was harvested in the first weeks of September; it reached a good balance between sugars and acidity, leading to balanced Roero Arneis wines, with a good alcohol level, but fresh and with good floral notes at the same time. The Nebbiolo, as well, harvested during the second and third weeks of October, reached ideal maturation levels, leading to Roero rich in aromas, with a good freshness and complexity.
The 2007 year had particular weather conditions, with an exceptionally early germination period, due to a particularly mild winter and a florescence that began around the 5th-10th of May, followed by a cool period with frequent rainfalls that led to a slowing down of the phenological cycle and which counterbalanced the early conditions of the previous months. There were no rainfalls in the month of July; the temperatures increased, leading to particularly hot days that caused burns to the grapes. Even though the August temperatures were slightly lower than average, the harvest was started well in advance: at the end of the month for the Arneis and towards September 20th for the Nebbiolo. The resulting Arneis was excellent, with a balanced acidity and a noticeable aromatic richness. There was a high sugar content concentration for the Nebbiolo, leading to Roero with a good alcohol content, rich in aromas and with a good body and structure.
The winter was long, cold and had many precipitations with heavy snowfalls towards the end of January. Spring-like conditions did not arrive until the month of April, but after the second half of May, there was a shift between hot and cold conditions, with little precipitations. In mid-September, four days of torrential days accumulated to 3-5 times the average monthly rainfall and just a little under the total precipitations of the first 8 months of the year. The year favored the Arneis – especially because of the night/day temperature fluctuations seen during the last ten days of August – which reached excellent ripeness levels and had intense aromas. As for the Nebbiolo, only those who were patient enough to wait were able to obtain healthy and good quality grapes, which led to Roero of complex aromas, the right acidity and a good alcohol level.
The year 2005 was characterized by abnormal weather conditions, all which in the end, however, were satisfactory. A mild winter of low precipitations was followed by a spring that began with cooler temperatures and little rainfalls. The temperature increased drastically in the month of June, leading to above-average seasonal temperatures; August, in spite of the forecasts was characterized by below-average temperatures and calm skies. The month of September began with some days of rainfalls, conditions that then became normal, turning almost summer-like by the end of the month, with strong temperature fluctuations that helped bring out the sugar accumulation and the aromatic compounds of the grapes. There were some rainfalls in the month of October, but by then the harvest had pretty much been concluded. The grapes were all together healthy, with a lower production in comparison with the year 2004. The Roero Arneis are bold with a good aromatic richness, while the Roero are full-bodied, with good alcohol content and intense aromatic sensations.
A “nervous” winter, with average harsh temperatures, as well as a spring characterized by heavy precipitations up until the beginning of May allowed for the replenishing of the water supply. The following months witnessed summer temperatures that were never too high and almost a total absence of precipitations. The entire month of September and the first days of October were sunny, with temperatures above the seasonal average. These conditions allowed for an abundant harvest of mature and healthy grapes, were the true challenge became the regulation of the production. The harvest was long and quiet: it started in mid September for the Arneis and finished at the end of October for the Nebbiolo. The resulting Roero Arneis wines had average alcohol contents, balanced acidity and intense aromas, while the Roero had complex and interesting aromas, a good acidity, and were rather elegant.
The 2003 vintage was characterized by constant periods of sunshine with almost a total absence of rain; these series of facts led to record high temperatures for the area, and kept them high for a long period. At the end of August rainfall totals reached 265mm, compared with 830mm in 2002 and 390mm in 1997. The Arneis harvest was finished by September 10th, with a good overall situation, average alcohol content and decent aromas. Even though sun and heat burns were evident on some Nebbiolo grape berries, the qualitative level reached was rather high, leading to Roero wines that were rich and high in alcohol content.
The 2002 harvest will be remembered for its abnormal meteorological conditions that caused great problems: Spring and August rainfalls, low temperatures, and hailstorms in the month of September. It was a harvest that forced grape growers to make selections, to eliminate the grape clusters affected by mildew, to even harvest grapes that were still a bit damp. Briefly, they were forced to be selective both in the vineyard as well as in the cellar. These measures had a large impact on the production quantities, with a decrease of 50%. While this was a horrible vintage for the Arneis, it was not such a bad year for a late-maturing varietal like Nebbiolo, and producers were able to obtain a Roero light-structured but pleasant, easy to drink and pair with food.
The winter was rather rainy, helping form a significant water supply for rest of the year. There were very little precipitations in the spring, a period in which the phenological phases developed regularly. The month of August and the beginning of September were hot and dry, allowing the Arneis to reach a perfect ripening, leading to fresh Roero Arneis wines with a good structure. The conditions then changed in the following days, with violent hailstorms and low temperatures that led to a slowing down of the vegetative activity, while the extremely large water supply led to the enlargement of the grape berries, a dilution of their sugar content and delayed the ideal ripening phase of the Nebbiolo. The good weather that followed, however, allowed for ideal acidity and good sugar levels. The Roero wines are elegant, with moderate alcohol content, deep and complex aromas, good structure and phenolic complexity.
The winter was mild with only a few snowfalls, leading to an early germination. A rainy spring was followed by a sunny and ventilated period, with a veraison that took place under favorable meteorological conditions. The meteorological conditions favored the production of high-quality Arneis, leading to Roero Arneis wines of good structure and persisting acidity, with delicate and lasting aromas. The second half of September was characterized by a progressive change, with alternate periods of rain and sunshine. The Nebbiolo arrived at the end of September taking advantage of the cooler temperatures to complete its regular maturation cycle, all of which led to Roero wines with a high alcohol content, with intense aromas, noticeable structure and phenolic complexity.