Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2012 Piemonte vintage notes from Chiara Soldati of La Scolca

In preparing for my harvest trip next month to Piemonte and Toscana, I have been in contact with friends, old and new. One friend, Chiara Soldati, whose family wine I have represented since 1983, the La Scolca estate, sent this email early this morning. I can hardly wait till we go and visit the property and taste the wines on location. For the record, I have never been to La Scolca, but this year I wouldn’t miss it for the world. In the meantime, here are a few words of encouragement from Chiara.

Good Morning,

I’m pleased to send you here attached the information about 2012 harvest at La Scolca. We started on 7th September and I’m pleased to update about the most important moments of our harvest.

The 2012 vintage at La Scolca started two weeks in advance compared to the average of recent years, with a high quality production. After a hot and dry summer which resulted in an advance of the grape harvest of about a month, compared to 30 years ago.

The wind dried the soil and climate, and returned with a high range temperature: it allowed us to start the harvest on September 7th under the most favorable conditions and in advance of the usual harvests of our "micro-zone" that normally can take advantage of the marine breeze benefits and temperate climate of the Ligurian Sea.

This advance protects the grapes from the risk of the first symptoms of decay of the skins moisture due to the first rain fall and lower temperatures.

This 2012 vintage is really great and special because it represents very well our challenge to combine tradition, modernity, innovation and a great passion for wine. Through all the years La Scolca has selected a GAVI wine that arrives on the tables all over the world still fresh and fruity, refining its great qualities: wine of “emotion” that gives everybody a complex and unique feeling. With this philosophy La Scolca obtains the special “Gavi dei Gavi™” black label. It’s a wine that gives emotion and that surprised. A delicate fragrance combines with a strong character and a great personality.

The must has a good structure, finesse and elegance, lingering scent and good alcohol and acidity; the results obtained from the analysis of the main indicators predict a year that will give us wine rich in extracts and flavors, with excellent structure and preparation of aging in the long term.

The activities of the harvest will take place in the vineyard very early in the morning in a way that clusters avoid the stress caused by high temperatures, preserving most of the organoleptic characteristics of wine. This year is characterized by changes in temperature and the result the obtainment of wines with great extracts and aromas, maintaining their classic elegance.

The growing season had a fluctuating course but with periods of regularity: the quality of the grapes is good and therefore we provide high profile wines, having the chance to get perfumed white wines, full of finesse and freshness . The winter in Piedmont had a regular course with periods of intense cold, low snow.

The spring climate assured the grapes linear growth thanks to a good alternation of heat and rain. The month of April was very dry with temperatures for many days above the seasonal average. In May, the temperatures were very low, but without rain. In June, there were two weeks of rain, which returned to normal range in July with temperatures below the seasonal average. The unusual warm April accelerated the growth cycle with the result of a regular flowering but that started in advance. During the months of June and July, the plants lost part of the accumulated advance, but it has been accelerated due to the increase of the temperature of the last two weeks of August.

The particular of our vineyards with clayey soil, has allowed supporting the high temperatures and shortage rainy, allowing a good sugar acid and a perfect balanced aromas.

The first few days of September, with few days of rain, allowed the grapes to use the accumulated warmth coming from the ground, giving to the vintage an exceptional quality.

Chiara Soldati
Azienda Agricola LA SCOLCA

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